A Fresh Look at Technology in Schools

Learn about technology in regards to education!

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wordleTechnology In the Classroom

Technology is surrounding us more and more everyday. Why not involve technology within the classroom? Students will most likely have careers which are heavily dependent on the growing technology world, from social media, emails, software and more. Not only should students learn to easily use technology and a tool, they should change along with it, so there really is no better place to incorporate the ongoing changes in a proper manner: the classroom!

I am excited to use technology within the classroom in order for both students and myself alike to learn easily accessed and innovative ways to display and understand information. With the world around us becoming “smaller” and more connected, it is a great way to teach students, learn alongside them and from them about how to use technology in ways never dreamed about. Students should learn to be comfortable in the rapidly changing world around them as well as the positives and negatives of it.

I cannot wait to create lessons using technology! I strongly believe each student learns vastly different, so what better way to react to their differences than using all that technology and the internet has to offer! I feel that over use of technology can be distracting, but by creating soft transitions and reinforcing ideas through the use of technology, students will have deepened their knowledge and applied it in creative ways. Technology sparks creativity, imagination and new ways to display understanding, producing engagement! Not only can you do so much with technology, I will be able to find many different ways to teach content to my students.

Although you can easily spend hours on the internet researching many ways to teach, learn or explore topics, you can also spend hours creating products such as power points, prezis and smart notebook slides, time management skills are key in what could be very time-consuming for no reason.

Technology is very cheap when you look for the free apps and software as well as those with trial programs to test out before buying. Technology is so rapidly expanding and changing that if you find some type of tool you like, but is expensive, there is likely a cheaper or even free one that is similar. Technology is very helpful because of the accessibility most have to it, as well as how easy it is to use.

Within the realm of technology exists blogs. I am beginning to enter the blogger world by a teacher perspective. Blogging is a great way of sharing thoughts, opinions, information and artifacts with others. I believe that by using a blog from now until graduation of all the various accomplishments and opinions I have achieved, future employers will see to as a beneficial, new age teacher. Blogs are also a great tool to use in your classroom in order to display to parents, students and schools the type of work your students have done, as well as their accomplishment’s.

What About Technology?

Often teachers are very skeptical of technology; from having interactive lessons, to sharing their accomplishments and failures within their class to allowing students to openly use personal devices during class time. Blogging seems to have gotten a wrongful reputation within society causing teachers to see it to be a hustle, ineffective, and not worthwhile. However as I mentioned before, blogging can be very beneficial to students, parents, yourself, your fellow staff members and educators all over. Blogging shows the real side of education. The defeats, accomplishments, learning environment and change that has occurred can all be captured and shared. Blogging is often thought as being “too personal” however as technology is advancing, so should school environments. Setting goals for being a teacher blogger will help to make this sometimes “daunting” task to be rather easy to maintain. Go to this link to read the four common reasons people do not blog and understand why everyone should “drop everything and reflect” look here.

The vast majority of students (in Alberta specifically) have access to technology at home often by having a cell phone, I-pod, computer or even all three. Teachers should use this to their advantage within the classroom because the students will be able to use the same device at home for research as they did in class. However teachers should be aware of the students that do not have this ability, and provide them with technology the school (hopefully) has to offer. Also the ability for students who do not have these devices, to be able to sign out I-pads (for example) should be as easy as taking a book out of the library. An overwhelming 78% of students age 12 to 17 own a cell phone (check out other statistics on the second page of BYOD), so doesn’t it just make sense to incorporate this daily device within the classroom? With the incorporation of personal technology use or BYOD (bring your own device), students should all be given a basic education on what right and wrong technology use is, both in personal and school lives. This needs to be a fully covered topic to teach students to avoid misuse. Some students may have been give free reign on the internet and never regulated by their parents, and the next student may only have been allowed to go on certain sites. Giving students a solid ground on what is expected of them is not only a practical approach, by is necessary.

I feel that the Ministerial Order #016/97 has very good points within it that relate to technology use, however I feel there should be a devoted section within it that goes into more depth about the information teachers should know and teach their students, as well as the positives that come from technology. There should be specific digital citizenship guidelines included within the order.  In 2O it talks about career long learning, which I think is very connected to the idea of blogging as a way of reflection on your teaching skills and lessons, as well as the abilities of your students. The internet is easy to stay connected and learning about the world, for example to see the trending tweets on twitter. Often these tweets have to do with government, environment, war etc. By becoming involved in technology, it is much easier to stay updated and informed about the world around you, as well as learning new things at almost a click of a button! Teachers should grow and develop throughout their career, by connecting with not only teachers around them, but also world wide to learn new perspectives and ways of teaching. I feel teacher engagement inside and outside of the classroom is vital in interesting their students in learning as well as immersing themselves in new cultures and outlooks. To grow is to change, the more you learn personally, the more you can benefit your students. To teach is to learn. Students are constantly learning, so why not teachers alike!

 

 

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