Technology in the Classroom

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.

3 comments

  1. Professional development is a key facet to creating a level of digital literacy in your school that allows all teachers to understand how the plethora of platforms out there can compliment their teaching style. Unfortunately this is simply not the case in most districts, a disproportionately high amount of money goes into Pro D that employs numeracy and literacy experts that use little to no technology in their work. This is not to discredit the hard work and effective tactics that these people teach us but I have yet to be offered a technology integration Pro D that provides me with a solid understanding of how to take the wave of tech that is swelling over us and place it into my everyday teaching. I have a good grasp on how to use technology but I want our whole school to work together on this topic as collaborative knowledge sharing only benefits our students and our professional growth. Pro D allows for time to work together and learn from experts but it does not seem to be a priority.

  2. Hi Maureen,

    I was also very distracted by how distracted some of the students were in that first video that you reviewed. While I understand that student collaboration can be loud, and messy, and seemingly chaotic at times, I wonder how the teacher manages the chaos in her classroom, as the volume (and language?) of some members of that classroom must be extremely disruptive to their peers. In the end, the teacher expresses that her students demonstrate some amazing work, and I feel as though I’d like to learn more about the process that they undertake when they work collaboratively with technology in that setting.

    Providing meaningful PD for educators, that meets their needs at their own individual level of understanding, is an essential component of successfully integrating technology in our classrooms. There also exists a need for teachers to receive support on-site through colleagues as part of their daily experiences in learning about technology integration. One of the teachers in video case 5 alluded to the fact that she learned some great things from a colleague at her school, and these types of interactions can often have a more significant, and longer lasting, impact on classroom practice than attending a PD session.

  3. Maureen

    I like the fact that you mentioned what “…measures are in place to help students stay focused and on task…” Even when it is loud, I have found that students to be on task. I call it organized chaos.

    I wonder if could expand on student accountability. The teacher mentioned that there is more student accountability when their projects are put online. what is needed or what are the issues to having students work being put online.

    A good next step might research what your school’s policy on putting student online.

    Christopher

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