Reflection, Possibilities, and Limitations in Grade 3

Diana has been teaching at the Grade 2 and Grade 3 level for the past 10 years, and she is very active and enthusiastic about integrating technology in her classroom within all areas of the curriculum. She is the technology lead at her school, and she regularly supports staff and students at individual, classroom, and whole school levels in order to promote and enhance student learning and staff development.

Reflection

In terms of engaging students and supporting their learning, Diana works to have her students reflect and consider whether or not technology has actually enhanced and moved their learning and understanding forward. For her students, she achieves this through discussion and by having them share what they perceive to be evidence of their learning. Based on the language and description used, Diana determines whether the technology has enhanced learning and uses this assessment to plan for how to continue to support this progression. Students are expected to be able to reference their own work in order to draw a conclusion. From this, students should also be able to think and plan reflectively as they suggest next steps for their learning, as well as what they might do differently next time and support these choices with specific details.

Possibilities

Diana continues to assess and evaluate her own use of technology in the classroom to determine her own next steps and how to best support student learning and understanding. She uses a variety of apps and programs in order to meet the needs of her students and their diverse range of learning considerations. Possibilities for adaptive technology to support students with visual and auditory needs have been especially beneficial, and these strategies have also supported with other needs as well. Opportunities to support student output and collaborative possibilities have enhanced the overall engagement and cohesiveness of the classroom environment. The ability of students to collaborate and share their ideas, comments, questions and notes with their peers has proven to be especially effective in supporting all learners in the classroom.

Limitations

Like many educators, Diana feels the constraints of time when working with technology in her classroom, and she believes that her students feel the same limitations with regards to time. Although she is motivated and competent in her ability to plan for technology integration in Mathematics and Science, Diana finds that she continually has to prioritize her approaches to technology in order to maximize the effectiveness of the limited amount of time that she has to devote to learning and applying technology in her classroom. In terms of staff support and professional development, she believes that there needs to be opportunities for staff to engage in PD according to their own interest and ability/comfort levels. Although she believes that the atmosphere at her school is supportive of providing support for technology, the time for teachers to learn about, and experiment with, technology has been limited to non-instructional times.

One comment

  1. Hi Allen,

    Very interesting points. I never thought about assessing a technology’s practicality in the classroom by getting reflections from the students after the use. I think it’s an interesting approach that I must try the next time I get the chance to do so. I definitely agree that technologies allow for endless possibilities and allows for various platforms to cater to students, to help them learn and excel at their level. The limitations that you/Diana pointed out is definitely something that educators feel at one point or another, and many teachers would hope to gain more skills through PD opportunities but like you said, time restrictions slows the process.

    In my past experiences at PD Days, it seems to always be the technology lead learning something elsewhere first then returning to teach the rest of group or in this case the rest of the school, like jigsaw puzzle learning. Do you think such a method is efficient? Or have you experienced another approach in your experience?

    Wanyi

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