The first video that I watched was Learning Environment 4 (Space Learning). The teacher being interviewed identifies herself as “part of a team” to help support student learning. Many of the students, who were English Language Learners, used technology in different ways in order to express their understanding. The teacher identified that she used project-based learning as a form of instructional practice and technology was an integral part of the process. This was evident from the math book that the student shared which contained students pictures and real world math scenarios. In addition, I also gleaned from the interview that the learning and success that students have in one subject areas can carry over to other areas.
I wondered as I watched the video about the strategies the teacher uses to manage the classroom. What measures are in place to help students stay focused and on task. I noticed how loud it was and how some of the students were distracted. I also wondered about the strategies that are used to ensure that students working collaboratively share equal responsibility for the product of their work.
The second video that I watched was Learning Environment 5 (Middle School Science). The teacher in this segment listed a range of technology related tools that he uses with students. He also mentioned how he uses technology for assessment and communication purposes. What I found most interesting was his comments related to student accountability. He alluded the fact that worked published online creates a pressure that helps to hold students accountable for their efforts. The students who were interviewed in this segment were able to clearly articulate that using technology was engaging, provided a break from textbook reading, is useful because people learn differently.
It was interesting to note that in both videos teachers mentioned that time was an issue for them. It was noted that they cited needing time to become familiar with the technology and how to use it in the classroom. Other professional challenges mentioned were; comfort level with technology, and not enough information and professional development.