I watched the videos for a few of the case studies specifically 2, 3, and 5. They gave me a glimpse of how far education has come over the years. I noted down a few similarities and differences that teachers pointed out in one way or another from their experiences though the settings were different.
- Teachers pointed out that the technologies integrated into their lessons helped greatly, aiding students with understanding content, and allowed teachers to get through materials faster without having to slow down or explain repeatedly.
This point seems quite important in my perspective as the curriculum covers a lot of material that can’t possibly be all taught without the school year unless teachers teach integrated lessons. The integrated lessons with the help of technology can present more content in a simpler method saving more time.
- The students were often pushed further as they worked with the technology, pushing them to make more connections and face challenges, take ownership of what they were learning
Pushing them further by making them challenge themselves more creates for more opportunities of exploration in the subjects.
- Teachers’ often acted as coaches and not information hubs, facilitating and setting goals instead of just regurgitating information to the students.
- A lot of time and effort is needed to create a successful program.
Another common factor in these learning environments is the noticeable great amounts of time that teachers have put into making the lessons work well with technology. Often times, the teachers in the videos started out being the first in their schools to use such integrated teaching methods and have to learn and “teach” as they go. The educators also notices the decreasing need for students to ask teachers for answers and coaches students in the lessons instead of give straight answers.
- The STEM learning environment creates an equal platform for all students in the classroom regardless of what background they came from.
As students now all come with different prior knowledge and different backgrounds, these STEM learning environments due the integration of technology that most students in the classroom may not be familiar with, creates an equal learning environment for all students.
The biggest point I noticed with the videos is the mentions of how schools and school districts gain more technologies for classrooms every year, and the grades that are exposed to them are lowering every year. I understand that it’s to prep the students for future successes, but I can’t help but wonder if is it really a good thing that the age of exposure keeps dropping? It’s like how students now know how to find the definition for a word on google, but can’t use a dictionary. Or how a students needs to use their phone to figure our how many days it is till end of the month and when asked why they didn’t just do the math themselves, their reply was simply “Why do I need to do the math when an app/calculator can tell me on my phone”. To have all these technological skills is great, but I can’t help but wonder what happens when all technologies stop working and humans have to use traditional “old-school” skills again.