What are the underlying issues and why are they issues?
– I watched a number of the videos but my discussion is primarily based on Case 5 and Case 1. To me the underlying issue was highlighted in listening to the teachers discuss their programs and the success or challenges that they were having. I noticed that in the discussion by the teachers in Case 1 that they were interviewed all together, they talked about what they all bring to the team and their different strengths and it was obvious that if they were struggling with one aspect that they could see and access another team member to help them. Comparing that to the teachers debrief from Case 5 where they all felt very individual and that support of a team was absent. As the teachers in Case 1 acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges is that technology doesn’t always work like you think it will and having to problem solve on the go. If you are in a team that fear of technology failing is much less intimidating and the staff from Case 1 seemed much more relaxed about it. I believe that the absence of support is often a limiting factor to exploring technology in a classroom.
What further questions does the video raise for you?
– I think I have two major questions from this. The first, is how do we support those teachers that are waiting on the sidelines that with the right encouragement would take the risk and bring technology into the classroom? The second, is how do we build teams, especially at the elementary level to support novice technology teachers?
How would you explore a response to this issue?
– This is something I have been working on all year and the comment that resonated with me the most was when I asked our teaching staff what they needed to support them with technology use in their classroom and one teacher said “I don’t know what there is to know what I need!” It was here that I realized I needed a much smaller step to support the staff.
– I believe asking those that have had success and how they got started gives lots of insight, allowing for many access points for staff to explore and try technology to boost their success and comfort is essential. Then seeking and exploring other districts and seeing what models they have set up and the success they are having are key to building a supporting model in my district.
How might the issue that is raised exacerbate or ameliorate a conceptual challenge held by students?
– If a teacher uses technology like it isn’t technology, what I mean is, reading an article online is the same as reading a textbook, then no additional growth in a student’s conceptual understanding is likely. Heather is a perfect example, she has an interpretation of what direct and indirect light were and looking at images online or in a book are unlikely to expand her understanding. However, if you look at the students who were producing the soundscapes in Case 5 they showed great understanding of the concept, in this case tornados. They had taken the time to research and the use of technology was allowing them a unique way to display their learning. The student talked about finding other information, with help from the teacher, to expand their understanding to enable them to have the knowledge to build their assignment. This shows how technology clearly improved a project that could have been a one dimensional poster board on the topic.