The two videos I have decided to examine are video cases 5 and 6. An underlying theme I have noticed between the two case studies is the lack of professional development opportunities and time to incorporate technology in the classroom for teachers. In video case 5, the retiring teacher expresses her frustration due to the fact she isn’t equipped with the knowledge or knowhow with using technology in her class. The student teacher echoes her same concerns. Even though she has been to a few technology workshops within her district, she either can’t seem to find the time or forgets to include technology in her classroom lessons. What I don’t understand with these two teachers is that they aren’t willing to make or find the time. I have come across this same attitude with other teachers I have met in the past, and that they make excuses to not change their current habits or attitude towards using technology in their classrooms. Would more professional development workshops help curb this way of thinking for teachers? If there was more funding and time dedicated in the classroom to teach and incorporate technology, would this help struggling teachers?
In our previous discussion in Lesson 2 Activity 1: Unpacking Assumptions, we were asked, “What is a good use of technology in math and science classrooms?” Teacher S in video case 5 and teacher C in video case 6 both had great examples of incorporating technology into the classroom. From using Garage Band, animated GIF’s, learning different concepts through rap songs to creating podcasts; the students were all engaged. One additional benefit to using technology that I didn’t consider before, is that students are more prone to producing exceptional quality of work if they post something on the internet. If their peers and others can and will view their work, they will want to have their best work posted.
If I were to explore a response to the underlying issue I have raised, I would want to conduct a questionnaire for teachers, students, administrators and parents. Similarly, to the interview we have conducted with a colleague for this MET course. I would want to gather input from the groups mentioned to see what their feelings are towards technology in the classroom. Are they comfortable using it? Do they need more training? Time? Funds? This would help teachers and school districts alike see what needs are not being met.
“Would more professional development workshops help curb this way of thinking for teachers? If there was more funding and time dedicated in the classroom to teach and incorporate technology, would this help struggling teachers”
I have been the Technology Integration Coordinator at my school for several years and wonder about these questions too. I think the structure of professional learning matters a lot. As the videos demonstrates, technology integration is very complex and differs across contexts. PD that focuses on increasing teachers’ ability to critically think and problem solve, through authentic experiences and active engagement, can be very useful. However, teachers need to be willing to persist through some messy learning experiences. In my post, I wrote about going to a Makey Makey PD. It was a full day PD and everyone who went got a Makey Makey. The facilitator created a scaffolded, collaborative learning environment and basically just got us to engage in the same projects he did with his students. They were the kind of ‘low floor, high ceiling, wide walls’ projects that can be adapted to work in any context. I went with some teachers who typically resist integration and view technology as something you either know or you don’t, instead of something that you figure out. However, the structure of the PD changed this and we all became active problem solvers by constructing knowledge and creating solutions. The PD provided the necessary time and resources but, most importantly, changed the way many engaged technology. We came away with knowledge of the tools but also an increased ability to learn how to use them, which can be more broadly applied.
I like the fact that indicated that some teachers “…aren’t willing to make or find the time.” for professional development. I’ve come up with my own rule of ProD. 33% of teachers will go to every ProD opportunity; 33% will go if it is convenient, and the rest will not go at all.
I wonder if can expand on what some of the drawbacks or benefits of having student work on the Internet.
A good next step might be to determine why 1/3 (my #) of teachers never participate in ProD unless it is run by the admin.