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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/