Author Archives: laceyhruby

Summary of “An online course to help teachers “use technology to enhance learning”: successes and limitations

The final article I read in regards to technology and learning explained how teachers need to find help in the area of integrating technology into their classrooms.  This is a topic for which teachers need frequent access to new techniques.  This day and age, teacher education programs are mandated to integrate technology into their curriculum (Marra, 2004).  How can these teachers receive the help they need to make them prepared to effectively integrate technology in their own curriculum? 

The article looked into the effectiveness of an online course whose goal was to provide new teachers with the skills necessary to integrate technology into their teaching.  They stressed that technology is also important to get into the hands of the students.  Constructivism is a popular teaching strategy and technology is a tool that supports this learning style. 

They also stated that many preservice technology courses teach beneficial skills, but teachers walk away learning about spreadsheets and work processors, not how to actively use computers in constructivist ways or how to amplify and increase engagement in learning experiences (Marra, 2004). 

A study they conducted examined first year teachers who enrolled in an online course with the goal of meaningfully integrating constructivist uses of technology into their classroom teaching.  What they found was that learners ended up focusing on the mechanics of learning the new technologies not how to apply the technology in a classroom setting.  The online course was predominantly ineffective in achieving its goal. 

This is an area which I would love to learn more about.  Integrating technology into classrooms and instruction is a tool I want to be able to effectively utilize.  Whether I learn about it online or I attend a face to face class, the goal is to successfully integrate technology to enrich student learning. 

Marra, R. (2004).  An online course to help teachers “use technology to enhance learning”: success and limitations. Journal of Technology and Teacher Eduction. 12.3 p. 411

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Summary of Using You Tube in the Classroom

I could not agree more with the article I recently read regarding the use of You Tube in the classroom.  It is a technology that is heavily used in classrooms around the world daily.  One of the most important statements I pulled from this article states “Just like any emerging technology tool, You Tubes value is not a given-it depends on how the teacher uses the video content to support and advance learning” (Dyck, 2007).  This is so critical these days, especially with all of the technology that is available and ever changing.  Technology should be used to supplement and enrich your lessons, it should not take over the lesson. 

You Tube can be great way to introduce a topic or instigate a discussion (Dyck, 2007).  There are an endless amount of educational clips that can be extremely useful in the classroom.  However, there are a few precautions a teacher should take when using certain clips for class.  There may be inappropriate clips, comments or sites that are affiliated with a certain page; most of which are unfiltered.  This is where a teacher needs to be vigilant about serving as a moderator between You Tube videos and the students (Dyck, 2007). 

You Tube is a great tool that I look forward to utilizing in the classroom.  I believe its benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks.  It is the teachers responsibility to find an appropriate clip before class and have it ready to go.  It can be an extremely effective way to engage students and prepare them for the lesson you are teaching or discussing. 

Dyck, B. (2007). Using You Tube in the Classroom. Education World. 5/15/2007

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Summary of “Analyzing the Learning Process of an Online Role-Playing Discussion Activity”

Online discussion activities have been getting more popular and prevalent by the day.  Mainly used in higher education courses, online discussions can have a number of beneficial effects for participating students.  As extensive research shows, most students gain a deeper understanding of material and their cognitive skills are generally heightened.  One strategy that has become more favorable recently involves students learning through role-playing.  This realistic discussion approach can help students develop group decision-making skills, keeps learners motivated, develops problem-solving skills, and can improve communication skills among professionals. 

The report I looked at was based on a lot of research.  Online discussion activities have previously been either focused on interaction or cognition, not both.  The research conducted was aimed at trying to design a way to successfully integrate both dimensions into online discussions.  Researchers studied the frequency of discussion as well as the content of the interaction.  Frequency was easy to measure; the content was more difficult.  They decided to base their research on Bloom’s Taxonomy to distinguish dimensions of cognition. 

After analyzing their data, the researchers found that students participating in role-playing activities demonstrated a degree of cognitive content structure, a degree of different opinions, and sustained concentration.  Role-playing in online discussions also motivated the learners while they developed communication skills. 

A teacher’s role in online discussion is also important.  They must also be responsible for posting thoughtful, intriguing messages to encourage students to strengthen their critical thinking skills.  A teacher’s posts should also be used to evaluate information, provide feedback, and reinforce cognitive aspects that are sometimes neglected in online discussions.  Finally, teachers should make sure to offer a variety of role-paying scenarios to give students the opportunity to perform different tasks. 

Hou, H. (2012). Analyzing The Learning Process Of An Online Role-Playing Discussion Activity. Educational Technology & Society. 15.1, p211

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Summary of Curriculum Integration: The Use Of Technology To Support Learning

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article titled “Curriculum Integration: The Use of Technology To Support Learning” taken from a 2009 issue of the Journal Of College Teaching & Learning.  The article explains how people learn in numerous ways.  The ways in which they learn are also evolving with time.  The authors reference Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences several times.  They justify how technology can support these multiple intelligences and numerous ways of learning.  Students can learn at all levels and gain knowledge of any subject area when effectively using innovative technology (Brammer, Gaudet, Jackson, & McDaniel, 2009). 

I strongly agree with the statements above.  It doesn’t matter what level a student is at or how they learn, technology can enrich their classroom experience.  “Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, coupled with an understanding of how effective technology can enhance the learning community, can meet the diverse learning needs of all students” (Brammer, Gaudet, Jackson, & McDaniel, 2009).  Utilizing technology in classrooms will provide benefits in regards to students and their academic careers, as well as providing knowledge and skills that will support them throughout their lives.  Teachers need to become educated on how to properly incorporate technology into their classrooms.  It will provide invaluable benefits to all students.

Brammer, D., Gaudet, L., Jackson, A., McDaniel, L. (2009). Curriculum Integration: The Use Of Technology To Support Learning. Journal Of College Teaching & Learning. Vol. 6, No. 7

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My First Post

I am new to the blogging scene, so this will be a fun and interesting way to learn more about it.  I am currently working towards obtaining my license in 5-12 Business Education.  I’ve always been interested in teaching and the FasTrack program seemed like the perfect fit to reach my goal.  I love being able to engage students and share knowledge within my content area.  I really hope I’m able to motivate and inspire students.  This passion has led me to where I am today. 

I graduated with a Business degree from Bemidji State University in 2007 and have been working in the business office of the school district in my home town.  When a position came open for a computer/business teacher last summer, I quickly jumped at the opportunity and was hired! 

Lately, my interests in research have really been centered around technology.  I’m captivated by all of the different ways students can learn using various technological advancements.  If money was not an issue, I would love to purchase iPads for our classrooms and download the needed textbooks on them.  They can be so interactive and engaging for students, it’s absolutely amazing. 

I’m looking forward to getting familiar with Web 2.0 technology.  Hopefully it will be something I can incorporate into my classes at a later date. 

 

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