Interpretation, Personalization, Search

The interviewee is the Director of Technology Integration at an Independent school for students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The interviewee has taught in a variety of schools both nationally and globally. The main points discussed focused on Interpretation, Personalization, and Search.

Interpretation of Data
The interviewee noted that when integrating technology into math and science, considering what applications to use to demonstrate data manipulation is a key factor. Within the disciplines of science and math using technology to analyze and present data in user-friendly ways can be better achieved through technology, ensuring that data is presented so that it can be interpreted correctly. In science, through the use of applications we can use these tools to allow students that ability to conduct activities that provide models, etc. that may not be available within the classrooms. As well, software allows students to develop their executive functioning skills, such as organization, when students learn to use tools that suit them best.

Personalization of Concepts
Within a global context, the personalization of content has evolved to be of importance within the last few years when it comes to compiling individual data that monitors students progress. Teachers are better able to use the data, or analytics of the students progress through a program, to than scaffold and personalize the lessons or areas a student needs to learn better/identify areas of weakness. Therefore, the data provided to the teacher gives the teacher a better indication of what is missing, such as low literacy, and then providing the teacher with the pathways needed to ensure the student can reach their goals. Providing a differentiated approach for individual students can be better achieved when educators use programs tailored to support the teaching and learning goals intended in science and math courses.

Search
When considering what tools to use when integrating technology into a lesson plan can be overwhelming now that choice is endless, especially when companies are targeting to niche markets/areas of focus.Companies are now targeting their program towards a specific area; learning how to rank, evaluate and validate tools for a particular lesson is critical. For students, they also need to learn how to search, finding what they want, and evaluating if the source is valid. This goes for content and when deciding what tool to use. When educators know what their intended goal is for the students to achieve, they need to evaluate the right tools for the requirement. Using use cases or business cases is the way to achieve this. However, in terms of productivity, if this tool can be used across grades, there is better success for this tool to be used (adopted) and find success.

Search Part II
Students need to learn how to define, and redefine questions while searching. Developing computational thinking within students is important when determining what tool to use to find the information. Students need to learn how to code the computer (e.g. code, keywords, excel) in order to efficiently find the information they think they are looking for. Students often expect to log on and immediately find what they are told to find without thinking about the process of how they will best arrive at these answers without considering their plan of action first.

3 comments

  1. Wow, what a fascinating job your colleague has. I found it interesting that even at the Director level they were working on overcoming some of the challenges that the person I interviewed was as a tech rookie. Supporting students and developing effective search skills is a now a key skill for students of all ages. It is not only the teachers but the students who must learn to be critical consumers. I wonder if your interviewee has had any success in developing this skill in students?

    1. Hi Sarah,

      What a great question! One point that has been mentioned to me by the Director, is how students lack the awareness to know what they are looking for while researching. However, as with any good habits I think it comes down to sustained practice. When students do not use the research tips consistently it is no wonder they end of ‘googling’ the question! I will definitely go back and find out more about his successes, as the Director is new this year to our school.

  2. Hi Cristina,

    I agree with your point, and Sarah’s, that we must guide our students in becoming critical consumers in terms of their ability to assess and evaluate the relevance of information and tools to support their learning. Too often, students expect to be “told” what they need to do, or what they need to find, and they wait to be instructed as to how to go about doing this. These students lack the patience or the resiliency to persevere through challenges when evaluating content and deciding which tools to use for their learning. The need for immediate results, and the lack of a clear plan, is sometimes a reflection of the struggles of the teacher when implementing technology as well.

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