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Vision Statement EDTECH 541

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment

The question of whether or not to integrate technology into education has almost become obsolete in 2012.  Rather, education should be asking how technology can be properly, appropriately, and effectively integrated into education.  The contemporary personal use of all types of technology makes the absence of technology in education problematic.  Students are using technology in their personal lives, but often have to disconnect from technology in their classrooms.  The fact that they use and like technology makes it an obvious motivator for participation if integrated properly in the classroom.  Not only does technology integration motivate students by gaining their attention, but also it engages them through hands-on practice and connects them back to their personal lives making the technology more relevant (Roblyer and Doering, 2013, p. 25).  Incorporating technology can be one of the best ways to ensure that students are engaging with the curriculum in meaningful ways.

Schools are the traditional location to teach young people skills that will travel with them through life.  Thus, teaching students proper and responsible use of technology should be another goal of education.  Education needs to integrate and use technology in order to make this happen.  While many schools do have computers, they are not used effectively across the curriculum to enhance learning.  Many reasons for the lack of technology integration stems from the deficiency of knowledgeable teachers and support systems for technology integration.  The National Education Technology Plan (2010) notes that “although we have adopted technology in many aspects of education today, a comprehensive infrastructure for learning is necessary to move us beyond the traditional model of educators and students in classrooms to a learning model that brings together teaching teams and students in classrooms, labs, libraries, museums, workplaces, and homes—anywhere in the world where people have access devices and an adequate Internet connection” (p. 51).  Schools need to make technology integration a priority by investing in technology resources as well as training and incentives for teachers to use technology effectively.

Studies show that proper integration can enhance learning as well as increase standardized test scores, a goal that most administrations already pursue.  Fadel and Lemke (2006) conducted a study of the research available on technology integration.  Their findings indicate that “overall, across all uses in all content areas, technology does provide a small, but significant, increase in learning when implemented with fidelity […] Most educators are looking for the value proposition that will significantly advance learning, teaching, and school system efficiencies (p. 15).  Educators as a whole are interested in any kind of enhancement that can increase student understanding.  Technology integration must be focused and specific to “address the needs and challenges of specific schools and serious attention paid to leadership development, professional development for teachers, school culture, curricular redesign, and teacher preparation (Fadel and Lemke, 2006, p. 15).

Meaningful integration includes designing technology into curriculum and careful selection of technology that enhances current curriculum objectives.  Technology can make teachers more efficient in their trade as well as motivate and energize students toward their school subjects; an end that justifies the means if enhanced learning is the product.  Any career a student chooses to pursue is going to use some form of technology:  “The challenge for our education system is to leverage technology to create relevant learning experiences that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures” (NETP, 2010, p. 9).  Educators must accept the challenge to engage students meaningfully in the technology that they will encounter in life after graduation.  A focused and appropriate introduction to effective technology can both serve instructional goals and create a population of responsible technology users.

References

Fadel, C., & Lemke, C. (2006). Technology in schools:  What the research says. Cisco Systems.  Retrieved from http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/TechnologyinSchoolsReport.pdf

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

U.S. Department of Education. (2010) National Education Technology Plan 2010 Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010

Technology Use Plan Presentation

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I worked with a teammate to create this presentation.  This type of assignment really makes me realize how much work it is to ensure that our schools have proper plans in place to consider, select, implement, and train on different technologies.  I am particularly fierce about the staff and faculty development.  I have found that the biggest challenge in implementing anything new is usually the employees aprehension, lack of traning, or lack of understanding of the new item.  With proper training and support, new technology should be a home run once it is vetted through the technology use plan.

School Envrionment Evaluation

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I must confess that I am a bit disillusioned after completing this School Environment Evaluation (embedded below).  Prior to this process, I thought I had it better than many other teachers.  This survey has actually helped me to see that my school needs much more in the way of technology planning that involves teachers and curriculum.  We do little long range planning.

This assignment addresses several AECT standards starting with 4.1 Project Management.  Technology planning requires both planning and managing current and future resources while identifying necessary projects for future integration.  The assignment also covers most of Standard 5:  Evaluation.  In conducting the survey, I had to gather information regarding my school in order to determine the parameters present in my school for technology maturity.  The evaluation included an analysis of the school’s current processes and a suggestion for solving the problem.  This meets standard 5.1 for Problem Analysis.  The assignment also addresses 5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation and 5.4 Long-range Planning.  As part of this project I used summative evaluation to gather date and make decisions regarding the technology maturity of my school.  I used formative evaluation to determine steps for future improvement.  I employed standard 5.4 to discuss the school’s own long-range planning for technology and how it can be better improved using more faculty support and curriculum integration.