Vision and Mission Statement

ed-tech quoteIn recent years our educational world has grown beyond the four walls of our classrooms.  As 21st century educators, it is vital that we look beyond the traditional pedagogy and expand our students’ world view.  Educational technology can allow us to do that effectively. Therefore, the overarching goal of technology should be to bring experiences and innovation into the classroom in ways that could not have previously been accomplished with traditional teaching methods.

Sadly, the digital divide is still an issue we face in our educational systems today, however, even those teachers lacking the newest devices and utilities can still access many valuable technological tools.  Programs such as BYOD, free library access, and teacher ingenuity can give everyone equal advantage. For a classroom with just one interactive whiteboard, a teacher can connect to other classrooms around the world through free applications such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Facetime. According to Edutopia “Seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.”

tech-quoteAccording to Roblyer (2016), technology integration should be based on sound theories of learning. The use of technology in the classroom should align with the needs of the curriculum and the students. Just as a carpenter would not go to the hardware store and buy a tool just because it was his favorite color and shape, an educator should not implement a new technology just because it seems fun and exciting.  Teachers should “also recognize how to integrate technology into pedagogy to achieve greatest impact on desired outcomes.” Roblyer (2016).

Educational technology can, in fact, level the playing field and enhance learning in many ways. For example, in the past students were limited in field trips by both budget and proximity.  Today, technology can allow students to explore the world through virtual field trips. Many websites such as Google cultural institute allow students to explore lands and cultures around the world.  Applications such as Powtoon and Google Slides allow students to present information in a variety of formats.  And with the integration of podcasts such as Voicethread, teachers can attend to many different learning styles.  With educational technology, the possibilities are virtually limitless.

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Pearson.

What Is Successful Technology Integration? (2007, November 6). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

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Educational Technology Infographic

For my last artifact for Edtech 501, I created an Infographic based on the definition of Educational Technology and my interpretation of that definition. After reading Educational Technology: A Definition with a Commentary (2008, pp. 1-14), I began to more fully understand the role of technology in education and our responsibility as educators to bring that technology to the classroom. As the use of technology has increased, the teacher is no longer seen as the all knowing sage imparting knowledge to her students.  Today’s teacher is a facilitator in a student-centered learning environment.  It is important to note that even though students need to be guided in the use of technology, but for authentic learning to occur, the student must be in the driver seat with the teacher coming alongside to shepherd and assist.

To create the Infographic, I used a program called Piktochart.  I very much enjoyed the process of creation and am pleased with the results.  Piktochart has a variety of templates from which to choose and allows the creator to alter and add to the template as needed.  For many students, the creation of an infographic would be a viable alternative to writing a research paper.

As design thinking and project based learning become a standard method of instruction, I believe our understanding of educational technology becomes vital.  Educators needs to see the value of integrating technology into their daily curriculum and strive to create, use, and manage technology in an effective manner.

Click here to see my Infographic

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. New York, NY: Routledge.

 

School Evaluation Summary

This week I evaluated my school’s implementation and integration of technology using the Technology Maturity Benchmarks Rubric as a guide. By reviewing the National Technology Plan, I was effectively able to compare my school’s plan to the national standard. The summary is divided into five sections: administrative filter, curricular filter, support filter, connectivity filter, and innovation filter. Those sections are then divided into subsections based on the behavioral and resource/infrastructure of the school.  Each subsection is rated on a scale ranging from emergent, islands, integrated, to intelligent. Based on my evaluation, the school is moving from the Islands stage to the Integrated stage of technology integration and implementation.

In many areas, I was surprised at the current levels of technology integrated into our school. I believe the school’s administration has a strong vision for the use of technology however, lack of support and infrastructure hinder the school from reaching their goals. One item that I feel is absolutely necessary to move to the intelligent stage of development is the formation of a technology implementation and planning committee that would include teachers, administration, and members of the IT department.  The hiring of a full time educational technology consultant would be ideal but I do not believe it is currently in the school budget for such hiring.

Please see attached documents for the School Evaluation Summary and Maturity Benchmarks Survey.