Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 4 -- The Technology Edge

This chapter is full of amazing examples of technology being used to enhance teaching to lead to greater student success. We see examples of online learning, one-to-one classrooms, the use of audio recording, wikis and other web 2.0 tools, gaming, and assistive technologies, among other things. After reading this chapter, think about one or two ways that you have changed your methods of teaching to utilize technology or, if you have not made these changes yet, which of these ideas sounds like it would work the best with your teaching methods and your students. Share your ideas, successes, or struggles in this blog entry.

8 comments:

  1. The technology edge is one of the most exciting for our school. We like to say that we are ahead of the curve and in some ways we are. Several years ago, we started a 1:1 English initiative, when we equipped our 7th and 8th grade English classes with computers for all students. The next year, a grant allowed us to move this to the high school. With some changes to our schedules that allowed for year-round English classes for all freshman, along with incorporating technology into the curriculum, we have seen a significant increase in student achievement. Of course, this wouldn't have been possible without professional development. The grant allowed us to incorporate 2 years of substanial PD to help the teachers become proficient with the technology and web2.0 tools they now use daily. (Wikispaces, Prezi, Quia, Quizlet...)

    We have spent the last year investigating school wide 1:1 and how we can make it happen for all our students. We have visited several schools to see how they have implemented thier programs. This year, we will continue our investigation by building Train-the-Trainer cohorts (thanks to a NEA Learning and Leadership Grant) to choose and learn the tools that we will use when 1:1 becomes a reality. We will also expand our investigation to include our elementary students. (I was very excited to read about how the Ipod program helped students increase reading and comprehension skills. I will share this with my school board when we meet on Monday evening.)

    The technology edge is very exciting for us. I can't wait to see where it leads us!

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    1. Good for you !
      We too are excited and getting geared up to be a virtual school with 1:1 initiative. We are trying out a couple of devices and have set up a technology cadre to meet and discuss plus/deltas of the devices....$$$ is always the issue along with changing Mind set and needing quality as well and substanial professional developments. I am so pumped to get our school to making these desires a reality....It is what is best for students...

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  2. I agree that our students are very comfortable with technology! They use it at home for a variety of reasons. As schools, our focus needs to be to continue to learn ways to use technology to enhance classroom learning. One way that technology can be helpful is to assist those with disabilities. Keeping up with technological advances is constant...

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    1. Yes I agree - they work every piece of technology with ease...they are natives to using these devices. They could be the leaders that teach the teachers how to use them..:)
      On a webinar I attended yesterday - some schools have implemented students as tech assistants who read work orders, collaborate and solve the issues. They have even been known to hold a court, jury etc for student that abuse devices...NOW those are true learning experiences -

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  3. Wow! This chapter took me several days to complete, and, in the middle of it I attended the flipclass workshop at Beech Grove. I am so glad that the footnotes and websites are annotated so thoroughly at the back of the book. So often with technology and involving other teachers, it's best to "show, not tell". Many of these links do a good job of showing the tech in action.
    Our district has outfitted every elementary classroom with a projector, document camera, and SmartBoard, and we are now wireless. We've not gone to BYOD yet, nor do we have many iPads, tablets, etc.

    One thing that I am in the midst of changing is to incorporate more video. I travel to three different buildings and work with 6 different staffs. I have decided (with the assistance of attending the flipclass workshop) that I can create and post videos of several different processes, both for students and staff, that could make everyone's life easier (how do I add a printer, look up all of my class data in one simple report, search the library catalog, etc, etc.)

    I, too, liked the description of using the iPods for students to hear themselves read, and was interested in Armstrong's class structure. (15 students in a class? No wonder he didn't have to request they raise their hands to speak.)

    Disrupting Class is one of my favorite books that I've read in the past few years, even though I don't agree with everything Horn and Christensen propose. I was glad that Chen stuck up for the value of face to face teaching, while at the same time repeating something that Jon Bergmann said at the flipclass workshop: What is the most valuable use of your face-to-face time with students?

    Once again, though, I do believe a lot of the strength and future of tech is in the use of video. However, they have to be useful, accurate, and succinct. The advent of many OER means that the process of curation is as important as ever. Whereas in the past one challenge was obtaining enough information, today a key is curating and selecting the best information.
    Susie Highley

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    1. Nicely put Susie -
      Every teacher has an LCR projector and all the elementary has a document camera and a mimeo board, the high school has a multitude of desktop computers along with LCR projectors with some document cameras and some mimeo boards, we have software that is not being used and we are researching this and working to provide professional development to get everyone over the intial hump...We want to allow students to bring smart phones to use - but we have to change the mind set of teachers and adminstrators and change the school policies in order to begin that process...
      I am going to watch the flipped classroom webinars and have my tech cadre watch them and see if we can get a couple of flipped classrooms started by next year...EXCITING

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  4. Technology has been a weakness in our building. We have not had the budget to upgrade our technology past a new lab and teacher laptops. We have refocused our priorities a bit with our new head of school, but we still have a long way to go. I believe that access to current, effective technology is what our students need the most at this time. The digital divide is widening for our students. IPods are first on our list of tech to get in the hands of our students. Our goal is to have a 2:1 student to ipad program by the beginning of next year and going 1:1 by the following year.

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  5. As a math teacher, I love the idea of a flipped classroom! These days, all I hear from parents is that they never did all that math, or they didn't have this until high school, or I never did like math! Parents don't have time and can't help their kids at home. With a flipped class, I can help them with homework and the student and their parents can learn the math at home through my video.

    I did find something last year that I loved and my students thought it was helpful also. I learned how to create my own QR codes and link them to YouTube videos that would reteach or reinforce the lesson I taught. The kids that didn't have smart phones would look at the video then pull it up on their computer or just through the web instead of using the code.

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