Month: September 2015

Student Centered Technology

Section Four: Differentiating Instruction through Technology

Introduction

This assignment covers the strategy of differentiating instruction in the classroom. Information Communication Technology is a broad avenue that will allow an instructor to know their students individually and as a whole. They will all be on different learning levels and styles. Implementing technology will make the experience fruitful and technology aids and guides instructors in providing the appropriate lessons to their class. Because of this, “the quality of learning can be greatly enhanced through the integration of ICT in teaching” (Davies, 2007).

Technology to Differentiate Instruction
Voice Thread:
In my class, I will use this technology tool because the higher learning students will know how to use the software. It will be a matter of utilizing the microphone to record events. They can also add video to assist the other level students. The impact would be that it will add audio and visual elements to the lesson. Some students learn better through one of these two. The voice thread could be used for all three levels of student in an assignment. One group can gather the pictures and type, one can record the voices, and one can put the project together.

 

 

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) The students will use their knowledge of the subject to assist them in their projects.

Communication and Collaboration- (a,b)- Since this is a group activity, students will work together in order to put the project together correctly.

PowerPoint: This tool will come in handy with students that are either on level, tactile, or both. These presentations are informative and interactive. Videos, animated graphics, and music threads can be added. This tool can used to differentiate assignments for all learning levels because of the video and audio capabilities. Students can learn through these aspects.

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) This tool is excellent for giving students a chance to be creative.

Communication and Collaboration- Along with being individually creative, the students the students can be creative collectively by offering different opinions and ideas for the completion and presentation of the project.

 

Webcam Video: This technology tool is probably the most fun and interactive one to utilize. In my opinion, the lowest level students would enjoy working with this because they could express themselves comfortably. They will learn facts about the subject matter. Some students learn by memorizing facts in the form of tunes and video streams. The impact of this is that the students can learn in more ways than just reading or listening to lecture. The different learning levels can use this in assignments with one group writing the lyrics, one group can record the material, and one can put the video together as a presentation.

ISTE Standards – Creativity and Innovation- (a) This gives students a chance to use a tune from another song and add their own lyrics.

Community and Collaboration- (a,b) Like the other two tools, students gain a better understanding of projects when they work together and share each other’s input.

Pros and Cons

As educators, we praise having technology at our disposal. We must also accept the duty of recognizing the minuses of having it. Of course, having technology available opens doors to new information and experiences. In the article The 6 Pros and Cons of Technology in your Classroom, Jean Montano states that “students can learn life skills through technology” (Montano, 2015). This is evident when they utilize rules and guides for whatever course they’re taking. That’s one of the good points along with the era we live in tech rich. When we uncover the bad points, we find that students can use the web to defraud any school work. Many people think that the web is distracting. Also, for example, as good PowerPoint is, people feel that ”PowerPoint based lectures tell you nothing about student learning” (UCF, 2015). The instructor should weigh both pros and cons and make a decision. Some of these tools are useful guides and shouldn’t be the lone means of differentiating.

 

            Concluding Paragraph
Our world is fast paced and steadily moving. With technology readily available, we can take advantage of what it has to offer. First, as stated before, we must weigh out the pros and cons and that will help us to decide which media device to use and its frequency. Differentiation is an excellent way of testing devices and websites for how we equip our students for this ever changing world.


 

References:

Montano, J. (2015, March 6). The 6 Pros and Cons of Technology in Your Classroom. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://blog.tophat.com/6-pros-cons-using-technology-classroom/

http://fctl.ucf.edu/TeachingAndLearningResources/Technology/PowerPoint/index.php

Safritry, T. (n.d.). Teacher’s Perspectives and Practices in Applying Technology to Enhance Learning in the Classroom. Retrieved September 25, 2015, from http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4356

 

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Integrating Instructional Technology

Integrating Instructional Technology

Integrating technology into the classroom has made the learning and teaching experiences more efficient and enjoyable. Teaching is not an easy duty. Through the years educators have made use of the tools and devices that was available. Our world is in the technology age with information and resources reaching all career groups. It’s no different for education. Educators have to be capable and prepared for a constantly changing world. The following tools are currently in use by countless teachers because of their fluidity and availability.

Google Drive

The first technology that I’ll be discussing is Google Drive. This application is ideal for file retention and sharing. Videos, slide presentations, and forms can be creatively displayed for teachers, parents, and students. This can be used as an alternative to Word and Powerpointin lessons since Google Docs can be incorporated. For a 5th grade class, I would infuse visual and audio techniques in order for the students to get a better understanding of the subject matter. “You can install Google Drive on your smartphone, tablet, or your computer for easy access to your files” (Bolluyt, 2015). The students will be aware and will have this downloaded on their handhelds in class. My focus will be on ELA and I will stress writing and how to formulate a properly structured paper. I will also have a video and interactive prompt on proper grammar.

Google Plus

The next high tech avenue is Google plus. This application is mainly for social media and networking. The person can post videos and educational content on the account holder’s page. The educator can connect with parents and other educators alike. Google Plus offers Hangouts as part of its package thereby giving people video call capabilities. In my 5th grade class, we will video call professors and other experts in education. “Much like Facebook, you can tag individuals or brands” (Lytle, 2013). This connects you with events, what’s trending, and any subject that you elect to follow. Everytime you connect, the latest news and views will be posted.

 

Evernote

Finally, there’s Evernote. This is a community and mobile application. The students can find this very useful and convenient. They can scan their notes and other documents and save them to Evernote for later. Also, if there’s any part of an oration that needs to be noted, the student can record and upload it. My 5th grade class will understand the capabilities of Evernote. This would be our way of keeping backups of all of our notes and assignments. The linking ability of Evernote gives the note taker the ability to “create a hyperlink to wherever you find right inside your notes” (Frank, 2014).

Pros and Cons of using Technology to Facilitate Learning

In the article The Best Interactive Web Tools for Educators, Sarah Muthler stated that “the internet was invented to foster communication” (Muthler, 2015). I believe this to be true because communication is part of the foundation of technology. There was a need to reach out to others fast and frequent. In the classroom, technology has its good points like the efficiency of having a world of information at your fingertips at a fraction of the time. The level of creativity that a teacher experiences is remarkable. Because of video, before, it was just a dream. As great as technology is, there are some drawbacks to note. Since classes have the internet, there should be rules in place regarding internet safety. Also, since everything is mechanical, there’s the threat of malfunctions to the equipment. Ebooks are taking the place of textbooks, but the systems that carry the Ebooks cost more. In the report Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology in Our Schools, the Department of Education states that “51% of schools with internet access made computers available to students outside of regular school hours” Because of this, “20,000 technology services are spread across the nation” (Noeth, 2004).

 

Wired and Wireless Classrooms

Wired classrooms are simply when the class uses wired internet to access all information. This method serves as a faster means of connecting and boasts of having protection againt unknown persons from getting into the network. Some cons to having wires would be rewiring in certain buildings can be an issue due to the building makeup. Also, depending on the system, it can be an overload of wires taking away from room space. Wireless rooms are the ones that operate from routers. While this option takes up less space, it has major security issues. They both offer the same internet experience for any grade level. Teachers and students alike can utilize any web tool for lessons through each, even though more devices are geared towards wireless capabilities.

 

Conclusion

With technology constantly changing and the need for information at its highest peak, these tools will serve their purpose. The internet is the best tool so far. When it’s used in conjunction with other web tools, the results are endless. I believe that I will succeed in the classroom, because as the needs and technology change, so will I. I will teach within the best practices of the ISTE standards regarding this subject (section 2). It’s a fact that when teachers evolve, then the students will.

References

Lytle, R. (2013, October 27). The Beginner’s Guide Google Plus. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://mashable.com/2013/10/27/google-plus-beginners-guide/#cUy_GNfJPSkO

Bolluyt, J. (2015, September 13). How to Use Google Drive like a Pro. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/how-to-use-google-drive-like-a-pro.html/?a=viewall

Frank, T. (2014, February 18). 6 Ways You Can Use Evernotento Dominate Your Classes. Retrieved from http://collegeinfogeek.com/evernote-class-tips/

Muthler, S. (2015, May 8). The Best Interactive Web Tools For Educators. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.edudemic.com/best-web-tools/

Technology and Communication in the Classroom

 

Technology to Support Communication

Introduction
In this assignment I will explain why technology is vital to the daily function and success of today’s classroom. I plan to teach 5th grade and I will have my students prepared for middle school and any technical resources to be utilized. The following are some of the few resources that will improve communications between parents, teachers, and students.

Technology to Enhance Communication

Remind 101): This private communication tool is set up for a direct connection between parents and teachers. No phone numbers are exchanged using this medium. All homework assignments and announcements that I post will be sent to all of my students’ parents. I’ll always let them know that I’m open for any discussions. I will let my 5th grade students know that they will always know the assignments that are due even after class is over. There will be no excuses. I plan to make my lessons concise, but this will be a great supplement for my students to stay ahead of the curve. I will also inform any colleagues and other business people of this service and stress how convenient it is. Schoology states that this is the medium “used by over 200,000 teachers, students and parents to send millions of messages every month” (Schoology, 2015).

Mini Computers: Tablets and Handhelds): This communication and data tool is for unlimited research across the internet. This will be one additional medium for parents to contact me. I will be able to send the students private information to their parents. Grades, assignments, and class progress will be accessible for them. For my 5th grade students whatever information that is to be accessed, will be done in a timely manner. Various applications will allow them to have video connections with professors and other contacts relevant to the lesson. Connecting with knowledgeable people can be just as important as knowing how to operate the device for learning purposes. I will also teach my class that with tablets you can access eBooks. These will take regular textbooks out of circulation as the need will diminish and will decrease the number of trees cut down. This is a reliable device therefore Gayle Bennett stated in an article in USA Today that “81% of teachers think mobile devices enrich classroom education” (Bennett, 2014). You can’t go wrong with this statistic.

 Video in the classroom): This communication tool helps teachers run their classes more efficiently than in previous eras. Teachers plug in and can enjoy conferences, lectures, and one on one lessons. With this innovation, it’s possible to talk to someone either in a building nearby, or across the ocean to a foreign contact. I would show my 5th grade class videos in order to further explain the lesson I’m teaching. Informative material in the form of cartoons, service announcements, movies, and documentaries can be obtained. The possibilities are endless. Skype is one avenue that educators can use for these ideas. Learnnc.org states the various ways that Skype “opens doors to several educational possibilities from reading to other classes, sharing projects, and connecting with reading buddies” (Phthisic, 2015). I would also reassure my students’ parents that this is an excellent communication tool if they wanted to monitor the class’s daily routine.

 

Communication Internet Security and Safety

I believe when teachers stress internet safety, they should stress research and self-control. When a student does research, they should choose the sites wisely. The internet is now available to a wider age range. Elementary students have the means to surf the web for any needed information. Catherine Forward stated in the British Journal of School Nursing that “93% of all 5-15 year olds used the internet in 2013” (Ofcom, 2013). At the rate technology availability is going that number will increase. Students can still be held accountable for their actions once they know the rules. In the article, 7 Computer Skills you’ll Need for Success, Tamekia Reece states that “internet safety includes understanding that what you say and do online can work against you” (Reece, 2009). Ultimately, Robert LaRose stated in the article, Promoting Personal Responsibility for Internet Safety where, “Collective moral responsibility encourages safe online behavior “(LaRose, 2008). I believe it and that a safer environment can be achieved this way.

Concluding Paragraph    
The web is an interesting and fascinating place. With the wrong attitude and practices, it isn’t. As adults it’s our responsibility to teach the youth the proper way of web searching. Once an understanding is reached, it’s their choice to maintain good habits. Everyone working the right way makes for an unforgettable experience.

 

References:

Bennett, Gayle. “Tablets Rewrite Classroom Rules.” USA Today 23 June 2014, Tech sec. Print.

Phthisic, C. (n.d.). A Window to the World: Using Skype in the Classroom. Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/6573

Remind 101. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015, from https://www.schoology.com/apps/profile/15123003

LaRose, R. (n.d.). Promoting Personal Responsibility for Internet Safety. Retrieved September 10, 2015, from http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2008/3/20732-promoting-personal-responsibility-for-internet-safety/abstract

Forward, C. (2014). Information and Resources on Internet Safety for Children. British Journal of School Nursing, 9(3), 147-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjsn.2014.9.3.147

Reece, T. (2009). 7 Computer Skills You’ll Need For Success. Career World38(2), 20