Prior to taking EDTC 6433 Teaching with Technology, I avoided having my students use technology in class. I used technology tools daily to support my instruction and to support collaboration and communication between me and my colleagues. However, I had very rarely integrated technology into my instruction in a way that allowed students to use technology to create original works, research, or collaborate together. On the first day of class, I completed a self-assessment, reflecting on the ISTE Student and Teacher standards. I rated myself 1-4 based on how many opportunities my students and I have to demonstrate the skill using technology for each standard component. I remember feeling slightly ashamed at how many level 1 scores I awarded myself, indicating that I provide little to no opportunity for my students to use technology to demonstrate skills. Reflecting on the ISTE Teacher standards, some relative strength areas appeared, however there were still lots of areas for improvement. This activity made it very clear to me that this course was going to fill an obvious need in my professional growth.
Throughout the quarter, I wrote blog entries each week to reflect on what I had learned and how I would implement the technology tool in my teaching setting. In just ten weeks, my entire perspective on using technology in my classroom has changed. I now see technology integration as a necessary norm, even in a small group setting. Rather than assuming general education teachers or the librarian will teach ISTE Standards, teachers must realize that the responsibility to prepare all students for their future by being able to demonstrate 21st century skills using technology lies equally with all educators.
A focus for me this quarter has been giving my “students progressively more responsibility for their own learning” ITL research, conducted by Microsoft Partners in Learning, looks at what skills people need to be successful in the 21st century workforce. One of the expected 21st century skills is self-regulation. Microsoft Partners in Learning (2011) says that “today’s complex world demands self-regulated thinkers and learners who can take responsibility for their ongoing learning,…monitor their own work and incorporate feedback to develop and improve their work products” (p. 31). ITL research suggests that teachers give students opportunities to make long-term plans for how they will reach clear learning goals and monitor their progress toward the success criteria.The program, SeeSaw, a student-led digital portfolio tool, has facilitated the process by which my students document their growth toward learning goals they’ve set. Each of my students has a data folder where they write their learning goals, success criteria, and monitor their learning by graphing formative assessment scores. SeeSaw is a tool I found on Twitter this quarter, and it has also proven to be a useful tool in communicating growth to colleagues and parents.
Having had a chance to design and implement lessons that align to ISTE Student standards this quarter, I feel prepared for the official roll out of the ISTE standards in Fall of 2016. I am confident that I can integrate technology in meaningful ways to support the ISTE Student standards, particularly in the areas of digital citizenship and communication and collaboration. This quarter, to support ISTE Student Standard 2, my students collaborated to create a presentation on their opinion about technology devices based on their research. This project is an example of how I provided frequent opportunities for my students to “use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others” (ISTE, 2008). The ITL assignment and weekly Tweets on Twitter really encouraged me to keep technology integration in the forefront of my mind when teaching. On Monday morning, I made it a ritual to reflect on the week’s lesson plans and find a least one place I could integrate technology to enhance student learning. This way, the use of technology is always supporting what I am already teaching, rather than being a separate lesson. I learned more about Microsoft Powerpoint and Office Mix by experimenting with my 3rd and 4th graders. Together, we created presentations to act as scenery for Reader’s Theater performances. Seeing that I could embed the use of technology easily in my lessons empowered me to try it even more.
The collaboration and communication among my cohort was the source of a significant portion of my learning, too. During the “See one, Use one, Teach one” activity where each of us researched a new technology tool to share with each other, I learned about Stoodle, Britannica research tools, and StoryboardThat, among others. I have since implemented all of these tools at least once in my classroom. Participating in EdCamp at Seattle Pacific University reminded me of the wealth of expertise among teachers. Seattle is home to a diverse group of educators with strategies to share. I am proud to be a part of this community of professional learners.
In the future, I will continue to educate myself on up and coming technology. I will support my colleagues by share my knowledge of the ISTE Student and Teacher standards, since I have had a chance to study them in depth. I pan on continuing to use the 21st Century Learning Design Learning Activity Rubrics to reflect on my instruction. I will continue to invite my principal, other teachers, and students into my classroom to observe my students’ reader’s theater performances, showcasing their technology proficiency and presentation skills. I will continue to integrate technology regularly in all grades to ensure that my students have an equal opportunity to practice technology skills. I will share what I know about tools I’ve used, like Office Mix, Sway, SeeSaw, Twitter, Padlet, Easybib, and Storyboard That with staff during staff meetings or technology professional development, when applicable. I will continue to participate on twitter to gain new ideas and be an active member of the global teacher community.
Technology Integration Morrison PowerPoint Presentation
Persuasive Presentation Assignment (1) ITL Assignment
Microsoft Partners in Learning. (2011). ITL 21st century learning design: 21CLD learning activity rubrics. Retrieved from http://www.itlresearch.com/itl-leap21
Vega, Vanessa. “Technology Integration Research Review: Additional Tools and Programs.” Edutopia: What Works in Education (2015): n. pag. 5 Feb. 2015. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.
Seesaw: The Learning Journal. Computer software. Seesaw: Student Driven Digital Portfolios. Vers. 2.5.2. Shadow Puppet Inc., 23 Oct. 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.
Robin, Bernard, Ph.D. “Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling.” Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. University of Houston, 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2015.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). ISTE Standards Teachers. Retrieved from www.iste.org/standards
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). ISTE Standards Students. Retrieved from www.iste.org/standards