January 23, 2015
“Edtech Cheat Sheet” found on Pinterest.
This article was laid out in an easy to understand way that excused the ignorance of the reader by acknowledging that keeping up with today’s changing technological world is a difficult task. This article explains technical buzzwords and new innovative methods in an easy to understand manner and assures you that you can, and should, start using some of these tools in your classroom as soon as possible. It gave me the encouragement I needed to believe that it is not too late to become tech savvy. It was my ECMP 355 pep rally!
Differentiated instruction is described in this article as, “programs or tools used to present learning materials in creative ways that match every student’s individual learning style.” This sounds like a necessary option in today’s all-inclusive classroom. I definitely want to know more about how to use technology to help with differentiated instruction.
I have believed in the philosophy of the “flipped classroom” long before I read this article. I just didn’t know the current terminology. A flipped classroom is described as one in which students learn lessons at home (the lecture part), from reading text, watching a video, or by using another interactive, on-line method. This becomes the homework. When students arrive in class, they work together on the new idea. This method ensures that students have the help and resources they need to work through the problems when they need them. They do not struggle on their own with a new idea, often without success, after listening to a lecture. This just makes sense and I am excited to learn about the different types of technology needed to make this type of instruction possible. I was made aware of this type of teaching at an education convention two years ago.
At the conference, I learned about Harvard professor, Eric Mazur, who discovered, much to his dismay, that his students did not retain information once a class was over. His prestigious Harvard students were scoring the same as students from other post secondary institutions, on tests taken after a class had ended. These results did not equal learning in his mind and they certainly did not place Harvard on a scale of superiority. Eric Mazur called his new approach “peer instruction” and he used the homework method mentioned above along with group work. He implemented technology in his classroom by having students vote on an answer before they had worked through the question. All results appeared at the front of the class nearly instantaneously. He then asked them to work in groups and vote again. Answers always improved. He found this method to be memorable and engaging. Students were retaining information. Here is an informative video on professor Mazur. There are many others if you search his name on youtube.
In an effort to make this reading response short, I will not elaborate on each new trend mentioned in this informative article, I still have another reading to respond to after all. I will wind up by saying many of the technological educational trends mentioned in the article would be extremely helpful tools in a classroom and I look forward to learning more about them. I understand the need for teachers to have a wide assortment of tools available. While one tool may work in one situation, with one child, or to meet one outcome, it may not work for everything. this is why we need many tools. There are many daunting tasks; assessments, differentiated instruction, multi-abilities, time deadlines, and data that must be collected, to name only a few. Technology can help meet some of these challenges while engaging students, communicating with parents, and facilitating learning.
Note: The original link to the bottom left of article 1- gettingsmart.com – is another good resource for other articles about technology and education.
As informational as Article #1 was, it left me with some anxiety. Teachers already have really full plates when it comes to the number of expectations placed on them. How do we add more stuff, even if it is good stuff, to an already over scheduled day?
Enter Reading #2:
Aimed at students, this information could be easily adapted to pertain to the over-worked teacher, the multi-tasking mother, or any other individual needing an extra 6 hours in their day!
Our devices have numerous aps capable of helping us stay on schedule, prioritize, multi-task, and communicate which are all recommendations in reading #2. I need to better understand what is available and know how to utilize these aps. Becoming educated about technology can help me organize myself, stay punctual, find and share ideas, problem solve with others, feel supported, and ??? (I’m not sure of the numerous other possibilities because I am not very knowledgeable about what is available)… it’s why i am taking this class! Being aware of what is available may save me time…
and will definitely save me face.
You see, students love technology and they love teachers who use technology. As such, knowledge about technology and terminology can make or break a teacher when it comes to student interaction. While using terms from the dinosaur age may be entertaining, students may not take me as seriously as a teacher who seems cool and current. Yikes… that insinuates that classroom management – RESPECT- could be linked to my knowledge or lack of knowledge about technology. Technology and Edtech lingo has become a part of the education field, therefore, I must learn about it. All professions are impacted by technology and the ones we consider to be most cutting edge are those who are using the latest technology. What a great example of life-long learning. As long as I am tech savvy to an acceptable degree, I can ask students to teach me new things. This is a good example of flipped learning which has the ability to empower students and create classroom community.
I DO NOT want this to be me (dinosaur):
I want this to be me (cool & current):
Check out my photo insert at the bottom of my first post, it sums this up nicely.
Note: While I did not find the reading from Edudemic that inspiring, I did find 2 other readings on that website that were very interesting (links below). This site will be a useful resource for this course. Groaner teacher comment alert: It’s NOT “all about the treble or the bass, it’s all about the resources.”
Drum roll, Eye roll, all together now….GGGRROAN!!
Also wanted to say: I loved the video where the students designed their learning. I would love to help facilitate initiatives like this in a school. Thinking outside the box has always been natural for me. My oldest son was complaining this morning about school, so I asked him to think about the kind of school he would like to attend. I told him to write it down and get back to me. I hope he does. I would like to see his ideas. If I was his teacher, I would try and make some (I’m not going to help him get better at girl watching) of his ideas happen.
Hmmm… you know, we could learn about binoculars and how they work. Not sure what the science curriculum looks like for grade 8 boys, but perhaps we could somehow tie it to common “interests” – you see being creative is necessary in teaching!