Task 1: What do I want to learn about edtech?

Technology is going to have a greater impact on education more and more as the years roll by. It is imperative for a teacher to have the knowledge to use devices/gadgets/websites/apps to better prepare their students for life after school. This is why I feel it necessary to learn the basics and beyond about technology in the classroom. First off,  I think it is essential to close the digital divide. In the two classrooms I have worked in (3rd grade and 6th grade), there have been students who had the latest version of a new phone and students who had obsolete versions of phones. To close the digital divide would not necessitate having a fundraiser to get every student on the newest, most updated form of technology, but rather to find a compatible system/app that works on all versions of their technology. For example, I would love how to show students how to use their cell phones as word processors. Since they (the 6th graders) are on their phone any chance they can get, it would behoove them to have homework where they need to write a few paragraphs using their phones. It is counterproductive to try to get students off their phone as much as possible because they are going to be on them no matter what. I believe it is crucial to find some way to use their personal technology (phone) as a method of learning in school.

I’d also like to explore the realms of collaborating digitally. My former 6th graders would have benefited immensely if they had to make a video on a YouTube channel where they spoke about the ancient Romans, teaching the class through their project. What are some different types of platforms on the web that students can use in order to teach the class about something (other than a PowerPoint)? Also, through learning about different types of platforms, I’d like to talk about “sharing” these projects with the student’s classmates. I am not too keen in online sharing and I think that would be essential to a student project.

I think (as of right now, at least) that the two most important modes of technologies in the classroom would be 1) utilizing the phone and 2) using technology for group projects. I look forward to seeing what other people think are the most important uses of technology in the classroom!

Heckity Heck! I’m Using edTech!

I would say that the use of edTech is pretty average in my classroom and my school as a whole. My CT and I are always looking for new ways to use the resources we have available to us to make learning fun and engaging for the kids. It has always been my goal to be the kind of teacher that lets the kids do the learning and the teaching. I am a HUGE advocate of project-based learning, and it’s kind of easy to do with math. Since it is my first time teaching, however, I thought that it would be better for me to build confidence and practice using just the basic methods that I’ve seen previous teachers use, just in case the school I end up working at doesn’t have the resources that I’m used to.

I have been encouraged by my CT to share whatever “new methods” I come across. I figure if I share them with her, she’ll use them and I can observe and sort of use her as a guinea pig…in a good way, of course. I am definitely going to be sharing what I learn in this class with her because she’s always looking for other ways to present material and engage the kids in learning. We mainly use edTech for supplemental learning or as a break from all the paper and “boring” work they usually do. I’d like to incorporate it a lot more as time goes on and find new ways to incorporate, not just screens, but other forms of technology as well.

We’ve really only gone so far as to use the iPads and the Apple TV, and even then we use them sparingly just because we have yet to actually incorporate a sort of rhythm regarding edTech in the classroom. The kids do get exposed to it more frequently in their other classes, though, so I guess it’s alright if we don’t really use it that often.  I do like to use an app called Show Me, which is an interactive whiteboard that we sometimes use for notes or for classwork and project with the Apple TV.

All in all, I would like to be able to use more edTech in the classroom as often as possible because I feel that it would benefit the students to be able to interact with technology (if they aren’t already doing so at home) in an educational way.

That’s it for now!

 

Featured Picture: Pensive Squirrel by Seth Wilson @ flickr.com

Where is Technology?

Technology is everywhere yet at the same time its hard to find. My students are continually on their cell phones in class and sometimes it can be a battle to get their attention. And yet media and technology is so useful that I wish I had more of it. My cooperating teacher used to have about six desktop computers in his classroom but they were removed in anticipation of Union High School becoming a 1-to-1 school in the next couple of years. You would think that they would not remove the highly prized connection to the outside world until they established a new one. However that was not the case, so instead we have to reserve one of four chrome book carts that is supposed to serve 2,000 students.

As you can see its sometimes difficult to integrate interactive technology into the classroom for my students. Every classroom has a desktop monitor that hooks up to each teacher’s Microsoft Surface Pro. Every classroom has a projector and a document camera but that’s where the technology ends. Meaning that I can show my students a PowerPoint and use the document camera to go through assignments and worksheets. However getting my students to be active with technology is sadly a challenge, unless its on their own smartphones.


Technology literacy would have at one point in the past seemed absurd. However now it is expected and valued. I know my way around the basics of a computer and many different operating systems. But I do not consider myself technology literate in a classroom setting. To me you have to go beyond using PowerPoints, and showing Bozeman Science Videos to be consider a technologically literate teacher. What about flipped classrooms using technology, or Google Classroom? What about Edpuzzle and kahoot, plus so much more?

I feel that I have been stymied in being able to become technology literate in my classroom by two separate things. My lack of knowledge and in some cases determination to learn what I do not understand. But the larger issue is the demographics of my school. Almost every teenager now has a smartphone, but I cannot always assume that. I know that some of my students do not. And since we do not have enough chrome books to go around I am somewhat limited in technology. I cannot do kahoot unless I group the kids up. I cannot practice a flipped classroom  if I know that not every child has access to technology at home.

I feel that these are the things that set me back. However, I also feel that I just need to get more creative. I am sure there are more ways to try and integrate technology into the classroom and I just have not discovered them yet. I hope that through this course I can discover new methods of technology integration into my classroom, in a way that is interactive for the students and promotes their learning.

https://clipartfest.com/categories/view/b59a7fbaf2b911ab3cbcc916673a67579bc86690/animal-vs-person-clipart.html