Video Cases-My Reflections

The collection of videos reflected current successes and concerns around the use of technology in math and science classrooms. . Although they highlighted the underlying issues with the integration of technology into the math and science classrooms they also showed the light at the end of this tunnel.

The issues seemed to correlate with my thoughts as I unpacked some of my own assumptions. Access to computer labs as well as time came up several times within the videos. In addition, the lack of training or perceived lack of competence using technology to teach was revealed when the new teacher said she felt that she wanted to incorporate technology in her teaching, but that she felt pressured due to time constraints and the fact that she felt that she didn’t have enough prior knowledge of the technology to teach it properly. She also felt unprepared to troubleshoot in the moment, which seemed to make her fearful of trying to incorporate the technology.  Considering student issues with technology, interestingly one of the students videoed reflected on the graphing calculator and although she used it because she said it saved time and she was “lazy”, she also relayed the fact that she felt that it disguised her mathematical problem solving and that she preferred pencil and paper to work out her math problem, at least initially.

I also noticed that technology was viewed as a “time” saver in some ways, and in another way was used for project based work, which tended to take more time and be more in depth. I think this was based on how the technology was used, whether for solving a specific problem or creating a presentation. This was just a reflection.

Another theme I noticed was that the technology used seemed to be limited to a few “tried and true” uses. This is not an underlying issue, just a reflection I made as I watched the videos. I think with technology often educators become familiar with a specific set of technology uses or presentation tools and stick with them. They also share these with other educators and so these get used more and more. One example of this would be the overuse (in my view) of PowerPoint when there are many more varied options available to present information in the same way.  Again, this is probably due to time and training.

On the positive side technology was being used in many of the classrooms. From Powerpoint to podcasting, internet researching, animated GIFs, Flash presentations, graphic calculators to problem solve, videotaping creative dramatic science representations, soundscapes, etc. Both educators and students found it engaging and it helped to promote teamwork and partnered problem solving. In addition, pencil and paper was not thrown out the window but was seamlessly incorporated as part of the learning process, technology working alongside this. Different student learning needs were met with the variety of ways they could both access learning and present their understandings.

In considering a response to some of the underlying issues I chose to focus on using the resources available to the best of their capabilities. New teachers should be mentored and supported through being teamed up with more seasoned educators and then allowed to use technology in their teaching with guidance and supports. In addition, educators should be given time to share technology tools at staff meetings or division meetings. Students should also be utilized as an important resource when integrating technology in your teaching. Often the students are able to figure out how to use the technology, or already know how to use it and can show the teacher. Teachers need to bring the technology in, even if they are feeling a bit unsure. Even if the educator can wrap there head around one new technology tool, it may promote them to use it and to slowly integrate technology into their classroom.

In summation, I think it is important that technology is providing for differentiation. Students are not only bound to textbooks and written work, but are able to act, produce, reflect, create, problem solve, hypothesize, cooperate and present using technology as a tool. This is important and is providing for a deeper and more engaging learning experience for many.  I look forward to reading your reflections.

 

 

4 comments

  1. Hi Michelle,

    I enjoyed reading your reflection on the video cases and it seems like we viewed the same cases because the aspects I’ve noticed are on the same track as yours. I agree with your point about the need for teachers to be mentored and supported using a team approach initially before being independent with using technology. There are simply too many resources that exist for teachers to explore and it can be extremely overwhelming and can add to the list of to-do for them. A good idea is for teachers to try to implement technology bit by bit, not a full on technology project per se, but it can start with having students listening and responding to a podcast related to a topic of study and then the next week, the teacher can introduce another way to use technology or to further advance last week’s use (e.g. students explore podcasts to share with the class).

  2. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for your development of several themes across the videos. Can you share which videos were watched for the class?It is interesting about our assumptions about new teachers and that they are digital natives willing to try new technology. As you note in one example, sometimes, this is not the case: when the new teacher said she felt that she wanted to incorporate technology in her teaching though she didn’t have enough prior knowledge of the technology to teach it properly. Another observation you raise is the technology disguising the math problem solving of the student as she reveals in her interview. This is an interesting point for discussion,
    Thank you for your post, Samia

    1. I did watch many of the videos Samia, but specifically the videos 5 and 9 refer to the points you brought up for discussion. Video 5 contains the student reflections and video 9 the new teacher reflections. In regards to the technology hiding the problem solving, I wonder how this affects discussing problem solving and verifying evidence. I also wonder if it affects using the methods in different contexts or extrapolations. I do think it is an important step when we write down our thoughts and evidence has shown that it actually helps us to learn the material more deeply. The following 2 links provide some information on this subject:

      http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop/

      In another article, the importance of taking notes is discussed. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis. The person taking notes is processing as this is done and this improves learning and retention. The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is the idea that you learn by being able to look back at your notes (Doubek, 2016).

      I look forward to hearing your reflections and thoughts on this.

      References

      Borreli, L. (2014, February 6). Why Using Pen and Paper, Not Laptops, Boosts Memory: Writing Notes Helps Recall Concepts, Ability To Understand. Medical Daily. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770

      Doubek, J. (2016, April 17). Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away

      May, C. (2014, June 3). A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop/

      1. Thank you for the articles Michelle. It reminds me a bit of dual coding theory by Allan Pavio of Western Ontario. He hypthothesized that we encode information using both images and verbal associations. Some have suggested that the image can be words, although the physical act of writing and visualizing the written word on the page might further encode the information. Food for thought! Samia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.