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Posts tagged ‘Student’

China vs. The US- Meeting Students’ Technology Needs

Today I’d like to share this cool infographic that I found showing some of the differences between China and the US, and their attempts to integrate technology in the classroom.  Pretty interesting!  Take a look!

China vs. The U.S.: Meeting Students’ Technology Needs

Awesome Tips for Integrating Technology and Education

Today I’d like to share a great article that I found that provides educators with some valuable pointers for integrating technology into their teaching.  Take a look!

5 Secrets For Smarter Education Technology Integration

With instructional strategies, data collection, curricular planning, personal communication, and classroom management to consider, where technology fits in to a teacher’s workday isn’t obvious—especially a new teacher. But if you can consider technology as a macro tool rather than a micro task, this simple paradigm shift can make all the difference.

A Means and an End

Technology is as much an end as a means.

While it can act as a powerful tool to actuate thinking, curate performance, and connect learners, technology can create its own need to know, and even obscure the reasons for learning in the first place.

On a simple level, there is the matter of function. While hardware (iPads) and software (programs and apps) are designed to be accessible, there are inevitably problems. Passwords can fail, broadband access can be problematic, and even the simplest act—such as copying a file from one drive to another—can take up more time than they save, and suggest a point of diminishing return.

On a murkier, more complex level is the idea of workflow.

Technology Workflow

Technology workflow refers to the role of technology in learning facilitation—specifically what is used when for what reason.

If a student is taking notes using an iPad, then needs to share those notes with a partner, the technology workflow is simple. The student internalizes materials, interfaces with the technology to capture thinking, then uses an app or function of an app to share the file. At this point, all is well.

But if ten lab partners need to access unique databases, return to a shared physical (or digital) space to share ideas, communicate priorities, then re-disperse, the workflow is more complicated and recursive.  This matters less with individuals (though it matters then, still), and more when large groups like classes or entire schools access similar hardware, software, and even content.

Workflow can make or break technology use.

Luckily, there are some ideas to keep in mind as you plan.

1. Think Function First

As you approach technology, think first of what it is doing. What exactly it is doing.

To do this, you’ll need to observe some barrier to learning—otherwise the technology use is, at best, gratuitous, and at worst, leading students away from what you’re wanting them to come to understand.

Rather than think “What’s a cool way to use twitter?”, you might notice that students are missing out on real-world access to content experts. Then you might notice that blogging, twitter, and RSS feeds are all three powerful ways to connect students to said experts.

Technology use here becomes strategic, intentional, and more likely to result in additional capacity for learning with technology.

2. Let Students Lead

Students may or may not know technology better than you. This is difficult to judge because their knowledge here can be so uneven.

Regardless, they likely know it differently than you do. So let them lead.

Let them choose new applications for existing technology—a new way to use Evernote, or a smarter way to use hyperlinking in Microsoft Word.

Let them corral emerging trends in social media use and work them into the learning process.

Let them figure out the logistics of turning work in, sharing feedback, and maintaining a digital portfolio. While this is necessary in a BYOD environment, it is possible anywhere.

3. Start With What You Know

While you’ll gradually need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, start where you’re comfortable—and not comfortable as a teacher, but as a technology user yourself.

If you’re an avid user of facebook or pinterest, figure out a compelling way to integrate it into the learning process. Same with your Android smartphone or the new digital multi-meter you just picked up on Amazon.

This will help you learn how technology actually works in the learning process while not having to juggle mastering a new technology while you’re at it. As a new teacher, you’ve got enough to keep you up at night.

4. Experiment Constantly

Whatever you do as you grow as a teacher, do not become complacent. Step out of your comfort zone, seek out better ways to complete the mundane tasks that sabotage your free time, and try new things with technology.

This experimentation can come as the result of collaboration with your professional learning network, business leaders in the community, or the students themselves. Make sure that in your daily use of social media, physical print, or in-person observation you have access to powerful uses of technology, or your “idea well” will be self-contained and likely unsustainable.

5. Be Mindful Of Your Own Biases

Both new and experienced teachers will need to prioritize what’s most important in their classroom. There’s only so much time and so many resources. This is understandable.

For new teachers, before you know it your first year becomes your fourth, and built-in habits that were formed during the storm of your first classroom experience can be difficult to even see, much less break.

For experienced teachers, constantly seeing education technology with fresh eyes can help you see function firstwhile also staying ahead of emerging trends. If you hold fast to this app or that operating system you risk creating your own personal learning environment rather than one for your students.

Resisting this requires a solid framework for technology integration from the beginning that is catalyzed by your own interests and passion, but is also interdependent with students, experts, and your global learning network.

Don’t be afraid to fail; everyone fails. Just be sure that failure comes in pursuit of better technology integration that is dynamic and evolving, rather than a stunted system of tried-and-true that will eventually catch up to you in your career.

This article was found at http://www.teachthought.com/technology/5-secrets-for-smarter-education-technology-integration/.

China is Ahead of the U.S. and Germany in Use of Educational Technology, According to Opinion Poll by Dell

Today I am sharing pieces of an article and an infographic that give the results of a poll that was conducted by Dell regarding technology in education.  Nearly 1,600 interviews were completed with students, teachers and parents in China, Germany and the U.S.  I found the results to be really interesting.  Take a look!

Highlights from the Dell Education Poll

  • Who is using technology at school most and for what? Chinese students in major cities say they spend more time using technology in school than American and German students. In China cities, respondents say technology is integrated into more curriculum areas than in the U.S. or Germany where respondents say technology is most often used for research. Without this integration, technology in the classroom can be a distraction. According to Dell, this highlights an opportunity to more effectively and broadly integrate technology into learning in the U.S. and Germany.
  • Are teachers knowledgeable about technology? Many teachers in the U.S. and Germany said they don’t receive enough professional development opportunities focused on technology. Their students agree. Only 40 percent of students in the U.S. and 26 percent in Germany say their teachers know how to use technology better than they do. This suggests an opportunity for increasing and improving professional development opportunities for teachers to more effectively use technology in learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Is there a place for social media in the classroom? Social media is playing an increasing role in the classroom according to respondents. One in four students say they access social media in the classroom on a daily basis. However, most teachers in the U.S. and Germany say they never access social media in the classroom. Chinese respondents are the most positive about the prospect of using social media in the classroom. Approximately six in 10 U.S. respondents say they disapprove of students using social media in the classroom to share what they are learning, while most respondents in China say they would approve of social media for this purpose. This demonstrates a growing need to find a role for social media in learning.
  • How is technology bridging between home, school and life? Just half of students say they interact with their school online outside of school. Most students in Germany indicate they do not interact with their school online, while a majority of Chinese students say they do. However, students report that they use technology at home for school work more than any other activity, indicating an opportunity for more collaboration between home and school.
  • Are parents willing to pay more so their children can have access to technology? Most respondents said parents should receive stipends to ensure their children have up to date technology for educational purposes. Additionally, parents across Germany, China and the U.S. said they would be willing to pay for the technology their children use in the classroom.

Innovation in education

This information was found at http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/secure/innovation-in-education.aspx.

Creative Uses for Interactive Whiteboards

Today I’m sharing a short, but informative, article on some creative ways to use an interactive whiteboard in the classroom.  I’ve experimented quite a bit with the eBeam products and I believe that the educational uses for interactive whiteboards are unlimited.  However, I think that teachers sometimes feel overwhelmed by new technology for that exact reason.  Interactive whiteboards have so many uses, and  can provide so many unique tools, that it’s like “Where do I start?”.   That’s the reason I’m sharing this article today.  Maybe it will inspire someone to try something new!

Creative Uses for Interactive Whiteboards

What was once a novelty enjoyed by a handful of classrooms has become a fairly common educational tool. Yet despite students’ and teachers’ growing familiarity with interactive whiteboards, many seek usage ideas that go beyond the typical “animate a lesson.”

Explore the following tips for getting the most out of your interactive whiteboard. While these general suggestions apply to popular brands such as Prometheus and SMART, remember to consult your operator’s manual for specific instructions.

Use Your Board’s “Record” Function to Archive Lessons

Most interactive whiteboard models come with software that allows users to create presentations as well as take notes in a blank file. During an open discussion, jot down notes or key points in a blank board file, just as you would on a traditional whiteboard. Save at the end of the discussion, and you’ll have everything you’ve covered, including student contributions, all in one digital file.

This is handy for many reasons. In the short term, you can publish the file to your Web site, or print it out and let students use it to prepare for a test. Either way, students who were absent get a comprehensive record of the day’s activity, and those who were in attendance have a great study tool. In the long term, the file serves as a record of the lesson that can be used with future classes. Or, compare the original file to future versions to assess the effectiveness of different discussion and presentation techniques.

Let Students Get Behind the Wheel

The beauty of interactive whiteboards is that they allow students to take control of their own learning. Most board manufacturers tout their products’ ease of use. This, combined with a tech-savvy generation of students, is the perfect recipe for hands-on learning.

The multi-media aspect of the whiteboard can refresh time-tested classroom activities. Consider this lesson example: a teacher shows a film or video clip of some neutral dialogue with two different musical accompaniments, in order to illustrate how music influences whether the words are perceived as comedy or tragedy. With the whiteboard, allow the students to select the music they’d like to play behind the dialogue. Take the lesson even further by using the board’s audio recording feature—have one group of students perform the dialogue while a second group selects the music. The bottom line is that students tend to be more engaged when they are the ones using the technology.

Create Interactive Quizzes

Admittedly, this tip requires some fairly advanced skills, but if you are lucky enough to work in a classroom wired with both an interactive whiteboard and clickers (student response systems), this can be a tremendous tool.

Using the whiteboard, the teacher creates an interactive quiz or test. The quiz questions appear on the board, and the teacher controls them via clicker. When the teacher posts a question, kids see it on the whiteboard and student clicker simultaneously. Students then enter their answers, which are recorded. The results are tallied instantly and can be reviewed by the teacher in the form of easy-to-understand graphs.
Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
Education World®
Copyright © 2012 Education World

This article was found at http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/getting-the-most-out-of-whiteboards.shtml, which is also an awesome website for teachers…. take a look!

What’s Your School’s Technology Strategy?

 

I have been doing all kinds of research on technology in the classroom since I’ve started this blog, and then today, I came across the graph below, and it made me a little sad.  The benefits of technology for both teachers and students are overwhelming.  So, the fact that 53% of the readers surveyed said that their school districts basically don’t have a strategy in place for technology just seems so unfathomable to me.  I guess I should be happy that the other 49% (why don’t these numbers add up to 100?), are making progress!

This graph was found at http://www.techlearning.com/article/52696