As a teacher it is my goal to be a continuous learner. This is also a goal I have for my students. In order to accomplish this goal I need to model this behavior for my students. Therefore, it is my responsibility to learn, study, and research effective instructional strategies that will benefit my classroom. It is important that I follow the same learning strategies that I teach to my students because with the increase use and changes in technology the learning environment is also changing. This is an important factor in learning how to be a self-directed learner. It is important for teachers to practice professional development on the integration of technology in order to help students achieve their academic goals. The ISTE National Education Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers provide teachers with an evaluation system on their own technology inclusion. I use these standards as a resource to provide me with insight on how I can increase the integration of technology in my classroom.
One indicator I would like to focus on is promoting and modeling digital citizenship and responsibility. For a while now it has been my personal professional development goal to incorporate social forms of technology into my instruction. I believe that creating a digital community would help me accomplish this goal. I have discovered that students are aware of the digital and social resources available to them and most students have access to these resources at their fingertips with their smart phones and personal computers. However, most students fail to realize how this technology can be used in an academic setting. I would like to create a digital community both inside and outside my classroom where students can collaborate and communicate with each other and with me.
A second indicator I would like to focus on is designing digital learning experiences and assessments. In today’s society computers and technology are rapidly replacing tasks that we once completed with pen and paper. Therefore I believe it is important that I teach my students how to use technology to create and share a product. In this week’s learning resources, the presenter stated that the integration of technology should be used to enrich a lesson and not become the focus of the lesson (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). Technology can be used to enrich a lesson in order to address various learning styles, conduct research, answer questions, and accomplish goals. As a teacher it is my goal to design assessments and meaningful learning experience where students can relate the content to real life. Technology is a useful instructional tool that can help me reach this goal.
In order to accomplish these goals there are several steps I can take. The first is conducting researching on which social forms of media I can use in the classroom that is acceptable to my school’s Internet policy and is accessible to all students. A colleague suggested that I used Edmodo so I have decided to give it a trial run. In fact I am currently using Edmodo in all of my classes. I like using Edmodo because this technology is not only giving me a different way to present the content but it also allow students to internet with the content in their own way, which helps students become self-directed learners (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I am monitoring my progress by student reaction, assignments, and usage. So far things seem to be going pretty well because students are logging into their accounts from home to finish and submit assignments. Students are also building on their communication skills by asking questions to the class and responding to discussion post.
A second step I can take to accomplish these goals is asking students and colleagues for their input about how to integrate technology into the classroom. If I want to create a digital community then the community around me needs to be involved with how the community is structured. I would like to think of myself as technology savvy, however I do realize that my students are more tech savvy than I and they can teach me a few technology skills. And if they cannot, what better way to promote self-directed learning than to have students learns and teach the class a new technology skills (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). I will monitor my progress based off of the feedback and suggestions I receive from my colleagues. For example, the colleague who suggested the Edmodo site to me has been using this resource for quite some time. I use her advice and previous experience to ensure my students are on the right track when it comes to using this social form of technology successfully.
I believe that I can evaluate my goals and progress by reflecting on teaching and the successful of my students. As a teacher it is my job to reflect on the instructional strategies I use and determine if they meet the learning needs of my students effectively (Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer, 2009). If students do not learn the content, then I need to review and modify my teaching strategy in order to accomplish this goal. This could also involve me reviewing the GAME plan of my students to see what modifications or changes need to be made to classroom instruction and how information is presented.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating technology across the content areas. Baltimore, MD: Author.