Welcome to my Blog!
Hello and welcome to my blog. It is here that I will be working through various discussion topics related to technology, learning, and most importantly the creation of meaningful and relevant student instruction. I openly welcome your comments, and hope that my insights and presented information works to inspire and assist fellow educators in the effective integration of technology.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
So it has been a couple days since my last/first blog post, and I have now had a couple days to reflect on some course material I have been reading regarding the impact of technology on students' educational expectations and current classroom instruction. To say that there exists a level of disparity between current teaching practices and what students expect to be learning is a fair statement. Despite teachers’ best efforts there will undoubtedly always be a shortfall in what teachers are able to do with technology and their students simply due to the fact the rate at which technology changes and reinvents itself far exceeds the rate at which educational funding is ‘dribbled’ into schools to acquire the latest and greatest learning gadgets. Sure you will have some school boards who manage to stay near technology’s cutting edge as a result of creative budgeting and program reshuffling but for most schools the truer reality will remain that of simply finding new and innovative ways to use the technology on hand (which sometimes is unfortunately not much more than internet access). As a professional educator I, as well as my colleagues and I am sure most teachers, recognize the inherent value in developing 21st century skills with students. Having the ability to evaluate, create, and communicate information via digital media is going to be a valuable skill in what is fast becoming a technology driven society. As Thornburg (Laureate Education, 2010) highlights, teachers will need to do things differently in relation to classroom instruction and the strategies and methodology utilized with students; as such it is therefore incumbent on teachers to embrace technological change and develop the needed skills required to critically evaluate Web-based applications, create digital content, and reinforce student connections to real-world technologies and resources if their students are to reach their full learning potential through the instructed experiences in their classes. In reflecting upon my own teaching I can clearly see how through the use of activities involving the effective integration of some aspect of educational technology I have begun to develop and refine these needed skills, and consequently have been able to generate student-centered instruction that branches my students’ learning into virtually all curricular areas.
By working to utilize various forms of educational technology including blogging, internet research, video conferencing, power point development, and global mapping software like Google Earth I have not only motivate myself to be a better teacher but more importantly have created a technology rich learning environment in which my students are motivated to learn and actively participate – even those students who are hidden in the back row or see themselves as being ‘to cool for school’.