Monday, March 21, 2011

Final Thoughts...

How has your opinion of technology integration changed in the past 11 weeks?

I knew coming into this class that it was extremely important and essential to integrate technology into my classroom when I become a teacher. I had read plenty of articles and learned in my previous class that technology was becoming more and more important as our society became digital natives.

Although I knew the importance, and I grew up as a digital native, I learned an immense amount about technology. We went over tons of cool programs that I will absolutely remember and carry into my classroom. It was interesting to see how everyone in our class is at a different point in their lives and had a wide range of knowledge when it came to technology. Although I grew up using technology, I only explored it on my own, and never knew all the interesting facts about google or all the free programs that are out their for educators.

I assumed using technology in a classroom would be tough. I thought a teacher would have to come up with all these fancy lesson plans to be able to engage the students and succeed in bringing technology into their classroom. It was nice to learn how using technology can range from interactive white boards to just showing a few youtube videos that catch the students attention. I learned a lot during the past weeks, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Second Lit Review

For the second Lit Review I read an article entitled  Integrating Technology into the Classroom: Eight Keys to Success. I looked for an interview that gave a little advice on how to work technology into the classroom while avoiding all those mistakes that happen so often. I know having little mishaps is impossible to avoid because technology is not perfect and we certainly are not perfect either! 

The article began by discussing the importance of choosing the right hardware and software to avoid issues, but than it focuses on the fact that whether or not integrating technology rests solely on the teacher. The teachers success as a teacher as well as the teachers personality are extremely important details when talking about technology. Technology will obviously not succeed if the teacher is not a good teacher or willing to try different and new things. A quote is used in the article that states, "educational change depends on what teachers do and think--it's as simple and complex as that." I thought that was a nice little quote that encompassed this whole technology issue now-a-days. It has a lot to do with the teachers willingness to further their own education in order to further their students. 

The authors came up with 8 keys to success in integrating technology in the classroom and more specifically eight keys to success for teachers to be able to have technology SUCCEED in their classroom. The eight keys are as follows... 
1. FEAR of change 
2. TRAINNG in basics 
3. PERSONAL use 
4. TEACHING models 
5. LEARNING based 

The article than breaks down each component and explains the importance of addressing each one. I believe they are pretty cut and dry and make it obvious that adults are not too open to change, especially not ones that are set in their ways. Technology needs to be able to reach the "old school" adults who are not willing to learn about it and embrace it in their classrooms. The authors believe that these adults would be more apt to change if they had all these keys to success at their finger tips. I believe it certainly would make it easier if teachers knew that they had all kinds of support. Technology is scary, even for people who grew up with it. It is really just a matter of letting the teachers know, and providing them with all sorts of classes, training and support and then maybe more teachers would be willing to integrate technology into their own classrooms.