. Do you know what I found? Technology has developed in response to man's needs to solve problems and make life easier. Educators believe that the same principle could apply to schools. Integrating technology in the classroom can facilitate learning and address many educational issues. Schools aim to provide effective educational opportunities for all students. Investing in computer technology at school supports the idea of student centered learning. Integrating technology in the classroom may be a solution but it is also the problem. Classrooms have changed in appearance. The learning environment is no longer reflected by frontal teaching where the teacher is actively engaged up front and the student is passively seated. Student performance has replaced frontal lectures. "It is difficult to find a "front" to the classroom because the focus is on learning instead of teaching" (McKenzie, 1998). Teachers are now facilitators and managers who organize the class and delegate work to the students. They are busy finding students meaningful "things to do [which] promote learning" (Cambourne et al, 2001). Organizing and managing a technology enhanced classroom is not easy. Teachers need to be creative with the skills of a manager and technology expert to "guide students to identify, select and use the most appropriate technology tools for all kinds of learning activities" (ETS, 2003). Classrooms with computers or computer rooms need organization and management. Scheduling and rotation are an important aspect of the "wired" (McKenzie, 1998) classroom. Teachers need to plan ahead for student rotation in an efficient way. There are many variables that come into play such as the number of computers available for each student and the effectiveness of the learning activities. Students work at a different pace. Even in a classroom with a computer for each person there is a need to provide work for the fast working students who have finished the task and have spare time. Teachers need to challenge students by keeping them occupied with appropriate learning activities. Cambourne discusses "what makes for a successful teaching-learning activity" (Cambourne, 2001). After nine year of research, he found that "effective teaching-learning activities were those [that] involved sharing, discussing, arguing, clarifying, explaining, making personal connections, thinking out loud, listening to others think out loud, negotiating meanings, and jointly constructing and interpreting texts" (2001) and using teaching-learning activities in small groups. There are two reasons for keeping students actively engaged in pairs, individually or in teams. First, it allows the teacher to work with other individuals or small groups. Secondly, pairs or small teams may be a solution to a limited number of computers in the classroom. Collaborative and team learning requires new skills in cooperative work. Students need to learn how to get along, share and learn from each other. Forming teams needs planning. It may be necessary for teachers to "consider computer skills and specific assignment when pairing students, change partners if conflict arises or needs are different, have peers critique projects and give constructive feedback and have trained experts from the class help others" (Bray, 2003). Having a management plan is useful when planning an Internet project. The Center for I'mproved Engineering and Science Education breaks the plan down into four major management components: Instructional, classroom, technology and time (CIESE, 2000). The first deals with how to deliver student instruction s, learning objectives, curriculum standards, hands-on activities and project materials. The second component has to do with cooperative groups and ways of managing students in the classroom by keeping them occupied. The third assures whether technology resources are limited or not, there should always be a back-up plan, Internet safety and long term goals. The final plan deals with "the budgeting of class time and the development for a basic timeline for implementation" (CIESE, 2000). Adding deadlines is important because it allows for student accountability. Students work independently by learning the skills necessary to follow schedules and maintain deadlines. Finally, effective classroom management strategies for technology, requires teachers to provide students with clear guidelines on school policies and procedures in working with technology in the classroom. Every school should have an Acceptable User Policy signed by both students and their parents on what constitutes proper behavior when using technology. In addition teachers will want to "establish norms for student behavior when using equipment to complete an assignment. It helps to anticipate possible snafus and decide how they will be handled" (WestEd RTEC, 2002). Every teacher should notice a problem before it escalates. It may be necessary to rehearse the computer lesson plan before going into class (Wes

Utrinki iz tudija thenike na Pedagoki fakulteti v Ljubljani. Scenes from study of technology education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana.


4 Comments on Technology For Teachers

  1. For me, it depends on the situation. I use PowerPoint to put up any pictures or factual notes that the students might need to copy down. Any type of notes or info that has steps to follow (1st you do this, then you do that, etc. ) then I write on the board so that the students can view the process as I go along. For example, if I were a math teacher I might put on the PowerPoint the definition of a variable and any pictures of what a variable might look like in the equation, but on the board we would actually walk through the steps of solving for the variable. At my school we also use the computer to take attendance and to enter grades. I do use the computer a lot to research things for my lesson, but I do not directly use it a lot in the actualy instruction. Let's say students are working with chemical equations in chemistry and it is all posted on the PowerPoint. All they view is step 1 then step 2, etc. Whereas on the chalkboard they can view every single detail from how to get to step a to step b and it allows to stop and do it again or explain it again, whereas on the PowerPoint you would have to stop it and go back, which would allow the kids to view it again, but not in a different way with a different explanation.

  2. He came up with four succinct ways to help with gaining more positive teacher attitudes toward technology. In summary they were: The WIIFM (Whats In It For Me?) factor, allowing teachers to have a voice, various training options, and having the technology facilitators treat teachers with respect as intelligent people. Honestly, I do feel resistance from some teachers at the school from using technologyand it is not just a generational or age divide. One of the teachers who has been teaching for more than 25 years told me she was willing to be my guinea pig for anything related to technology. She says she is not tech savvy but would like to change that for her students sake. This relates to what some people commented on Dougs post about an idea he missedWhats In It For the Students? A lot of great teachers would be more willing to include technology if they could clearly see the benefits for their students. I noticed though that the majority of teachers at my school do not like being forced into anything. (As Doug alludes against force in his second suggestion for changing teacher attitudes). For example, our Monday Memo with staff notes is now only given online in our efforts to go mostly paperless and green. I heard many complaints and some teachers have other teachers print out their memo because they do not like checking their email. At the last Religion Curriculum meeting, I tried to test the waters on introducing the teachers to social bookmarking since I was in charge of the agenda. I felt that this would be one of the easiest and most beneficial tech pieces to start with. I asked the Religion teachers to email me a prized religion website or bring the URL on paper. I wanted to include what they thought were helpful sites into my mini presentation. Not one teacher emailed me (which I was not surprised by) and only two teachers out of twelve brought websites to share. I do know that the teachers are going online because I see printable worksheets with religious themes hanging in the hallways with the URLs at the bottom. I tried to explain how easy it was to create bookmarks and how we can all benefit and spend less time googling trying to find sites. Now that I look back, I feel I was addressing the Whats In It For Me? Factor Doug includes in his list. Perhaps though, I missed out on his second and third suggestions, namely the teachers having a voice and various training options. As I am about to formally speak at our faculty meeting this coming week on technology, I have a little more direction on the best way for the teachers to receive my info. I need to continue to stress the ease as well as student and teacher benefits of technology. I also need to make it as interactive as possible, allowing the teachers to have a voice. Instead of speaking on one topic like I did previously, perhaps I should give a snippet of information on many tech ideas and allow them to choose what would be most beneficial for them to learn and implement. I know one key is making sure that they have ideas they can use right away and apply to their classroom directly. Maybe I will talk about a few options for teacher technology tutorials and allow them to tell me their prized options on how to learn. I hope that I am received not as the tech guru but someone just like them who is constantly learning. Like Dougs fourth idea to gain more positive teacher attitudes, they must know that I respect them and know that they are intelligent and capable of learning tech ideas. Perhaps they should know, that I didnt even know how to get my digital photos out of my camera until this year, which a lot of them probably already knew how to do or can relate to. If I can do it, they can do it. Maybe others out there have ideas like Dougs to create more positive attitudes toward technology. Im open for any more suggestions.

  3. Technology, such as using computers in the classroom. Is just another tool which facilitates instruction and thus learning. In this sense, computer technology is effective. Conflict arises when the computer is used as a substitute for a teacher. No current machine can compete or equal a teacher's intuition and wisdom, let alone the interpsersonal relationship which arises between a student and her mentor. To postulate otherwise is not only wasteful but foolish.

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