HOPE Standard Post- Utilizing Technology to Plan for Excellent Instruction

P4 – Practice the integration of appropriate technology with instruction.

To me, integrating appropriate technology with instruction means utilizing school technological resources to provide optimal learning opportunities to prepare students for success as 21st Century digital citizens.  However, the school where I am fulfilling my residency teaching chooses to limit the amount of interface that students have with computers in kindergarten and first grade.  Outside of a student spending fifteen minutes, once a week, engaging with an online reading tutorial in class, our students do not spend any time at school interfacing with a computer.  This decision to limit computer exposure in the young grades is informed by teacher’s knowledge of child development.  We factor into the equation the fact that all of our students have access to, and engage with computers daily in their home life.   If we had students who did not have access to computer resources at home, I think we would integrate an appropriate amount of computer interface to address this inequity.  My mentor school pays for an educational literacy resource called Lexia, for families to employ at home.  The classroom teachers collaborate with families to adjust this web resource to the student’s individual reading levels.

Given that students spend minimal time engaging directly with technology in our classroom, I have integrated appropriate technology in my mentorship teaching by utilizing web resources as a tool for effective planning.  Over the past year, I have utilized Pinterest as a tool for accessing, organizing, and sharing teaching resources.  The evidence I am presenting is a screen shot of my personal Pinterest page, and a link to my Pinterest page.

Screen shot 2014-05-17 at 11.25.33 AM

Pinterest Page

 

I use this technological resource to organize, collect, and share teaching resources.  I have resources organized into the following categories: Technology in the Classroom, Children’s Art Activities, Social/Emotional Curriculum, Educational Research Resources, Reading Instruction Resources, Integrated Studies, Classroom Visuals and Design, K/1 Poetry, Science Instruction Resources, and Math Instruction Resources.  

Kumer and Vigil (2011) findings show that digital natives, people born after 1984 who expect effective integration of digital technology into their educational experience, are not likely to transfer use of technology in creative ways unless their teacher training programs required this of them.  I am more than a generation off from being a digital native.  However, my teacher training program does require me to use technology in creative ways.  After taking the course for integrating technology in the classroom, I am committed to using technology throughout my teaching career to model and teach technology in an innovative way.  Collecting research, resources, and activities on a personal board is a first-step to integrating technology into my teaching innovatively.

I have learned the value of storing and sharing teacher resources on a web application that is commonly used by educators.  Over the past year, my colleagues and I have been able to easily share resources for planning excellent instruction and growing as teachers.  I visit team teacher’s Pinterest sites to educate myself about their particular interests or styles.  On the flip side, if I try a new lesson that is successful or read an interesting article about education, I have been able to easily share with colleagues through the Pinterest forum.

The implications for student learning are that I am more likely to return to lessons that I have tested and approved because I have organized them in smart and paperless format.  Furthermore, I have saved activities and ideas that I will resource as I move forward into a lead teaching position next year.  For example, I have a collection of smart ways to set-up and organize a classroom at the beginning of the year.

I have a Pinterest board for utilizing technology in the classroom.  When I am teaching my own class I look forward to using some of these resources.  For example, I would like to make a digital stop animation short film with a class in the future.  There are many free web applications that are tools for producing digital stop animation pieces.  This creative project would enable me to integrate technology into the classroom in a way that empowers students to be creative contributors to the digital world.

Reference:

Kumar, S. and Vigil, K. (2011). The net generation as preservice teachers: Transferring familiarity with new technologies to educational environments. Journal of digital learning in teacher education 27(4) 144-153. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ936543

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