“(O)ur society is beginning to place a high value on the ability to solve novel problems in creative ways.” (p.49)
Technology has given teaching and learning new tools to solve problems in ways that were previously thought to be impossible. Teachers know that students who can extrapolate their skills into different areas will be most successful as they advance through their educational careers and beyond. Society expects this, too. For me, learning more in depth about the processes of educational technology is exciting and rewarding. Making teaching and learning more effective is an on-going goal that I continue to strive towards. I am looking forward to all this course and the EDTECH program will offer.
Having worked directly in the field of educational technology for two years, I have a strong sense that being familiar with the foundational learning theories that underlie the integration of technology will make my decisions as an instructor that much more solid. Often educators will ask, “I want to get some technology, what should I get?” On the one hand, the interest and motivation these teachers show is commendable. They are willing to try new tools (whatever they may be) in their time-strapped days. On the other hand, the question also shows that there is no road map in place for making integrating technology effective. They only know they want technology, but there is no clear understanding of how and why.
“Planning must always begin with this question: What specific needs do my students and I have that (any given resources) can help meet?” (p.10)
As I begin this course, I am constantly looking for ideas that I can bring to the teachers in my district. As a technology coach, the focus has been on training teachers on using technology. I am starting to see that the necessity for teachers to be willing participants in the ever-evolving landscape of educational technology is a crucial component of a successful technology program. Teachers deal with curriculum changes, district policy changes, principal agendas, complicated student and parent backgrounds, etc. — all with the assumption that the technology phases are naturally a part of life. Being able to accept change is a powerful mindset.
“(R)esources and accepted methods of applying them will change, often quickly and dramatically” (p.10)
Many people like consistency and predictability to provide a sense of control and efficacy. When constant change interrupts the normalcy of a classroom, school, and district, the reaction will greatly influence and determine how teachers will find balance and improvement in their own teaching. New technology can be disruptive, or it can be a new way of expanding learning.
In my role as a technology trainer, I fully stand by the need to provide resources, including ongoing training for teachers as they gain knowledge and confidence to be able to step beyond the normal and risk trying a new process. Even before this course, I knew several of the statements in Roblyer and Doering’s Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching to be true:
The process of integrating technology effectively into education requires substantial, ongoing investments in technology infrastructure and teacher training. (p. 23)
“Successful technology programs hinge on well-trained, motivated teachers. A technology plan should acknowledge and address this need with appropriate training activities.” (p. 65)
“Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong at the last minute.” (p.63)
With my first week down, I am looking forward to learning and practicing the methods for the effective integration of technology.
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010).Integrating educational technology into teaching (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Anciss. (Photographer). 2008. You Can Change the World. [Digital Image]. Retrieved from http://anciss.deviantart.com/art/you-can-change-the-world-81681894