A Synthesis on Teaching with Technology

After reading chapter two, “Teaching with Technology” within Future Ready Learning, I was better able to understand how technology is meant to be incorporated into classrooms across America, specifically my own. The largest issues surrounding the

educational system in America, in my opinion, have to do with how to make education both more meaningful and more tangible to the modern student. It isn’t acceptable to state that all students learn best through a teacher lecturing at them as they take notes with a pencil and pieces of paper. In fact, it not only desperately clings to the past methods of teaching, but also hinders the student incredibly. Student’s, more than ever, should be facilitating their learning more than the teacher—those who are doing the most work/talking, are likely doing the most learning as well. When technology is incorporated into the classroom, this makes student lead learning more accessible to the student as well as more relevant.

Whether educators are willing to admit it or not, technology is now a huge part of our lives and, therefore, a large aspect of our student’s lives. Educators are now in a place of the facilitator than they are  lecturer. Technology’s presence in the classroom allows for an easier means of facilitation and student lead education. Technology allows for easier access to information for both teachers and students. More importantly, educators are able to co-learn with their students when using technology because of the vast amount of information available through technology. Technology also allows an educator to form a bridge between students that may or may not have technology accessible to them outside of the classroom. Really, it offers a means for education to be more applicable, accessible, and meaningful to students. Who wouldn’t want this?

I think for me, the biggest part of technology integration in my classroom will come from an active use of computers or smart boards. Not every school is in a one-to-one district; there may be very little access to computers in the school (no more than those in the library or on a few laptop carts). The most important thing I can do is make sure student’s are educated in how to use technology in an academic way, even if we aren’t using it every single day. If I’m not able to have computers in my classroom every day, I will work to integrate it as much as I possibly can, but I also value traditional discussions or note-taking—I don’t see students as inherently hindered without computers in front of them every day; they are only hindered when technology isn’t even posed as an option for them.

My biggest question surrounding technology’s effective integration into education is how can I use technology in a way that doesn’t provide more of a distraction than it is a benefit? I would never want technology to take away from the learning I want to occur so I want to find a balance between these two things.







A Reflection Upon Class Thus Far

It truly has been an eternity since I last blogged; forgive me if I sound horribly rusty or this post is all over the place. My purpose here is to write about my thoughts, feelings, ideas, questions, etc. about the course thus far. This is a broad task, to say the least. I often find myself in situations such as these, and more often than not, I sit and stare at my computer screen, wishing I knew what I wanted to say. So here it goes:

Image can be found here

I understand that this class is meant to educate me on technology in the classroom, but for someone who is constantly using technology in her everyday life, much of it seems to be rather self explanatory. I know that I cannot possibly possess all of the skills that I need to bring into my future classroom, and all of the websites/resources we’ve been given thus far are incredibly useful, but for a class to be entirely dedicated to technology in the classroom seems to narrowed. If it makes anymore sense, I wish that this class had been combined with another education related course in order to accomplish multiple things necessary to become a future educator rather than just one. Also, I would have really enjoyed seeing all of these tools/concepts we’re being taught put to action among the students we will all be teachong. This is more or less unimportant, but I feel that getting this overall reflection on the course will allow for a better flow of more specific ideas.

Aside from this, I can focus on how I want to use this in my future classroom. Realistically, there is no way to avoid technology in the classroom—it is a huge part of all of our lives now. Instead of remaining resistant to it, as many teachers have in the past, I will enter into my classroom understanding that my students are living in a digitally driven society. If I refused to utilize technology for educational purposes in my classroom, I would not only be living in the past, but I would also be hindering my students from becoming actively engaged and responsible digital citizens.

This idea of digital citizenship has come up several times over the past few weeks and it is a topic I am deeply invested in. As a future English teacher, I can understand the importance of knowing how to use the internet for academic research purposes. Of course, this is only one aspect of being a digital citizen, but it is largely important for my future content area. Imagine, if I refused to use technology in my classroom: how would my students understand a credible website from a non-credible one, the difference between sites ending in .com vs. .org, the difference between direct quotes and paraphrasing, how to cite all research accurately to avoid plagiarism, etc. You get the point.

As obvious as the integration of technology into the classroom may seem, there seems to be a lack of urgency surrounding the issue. This class has begun to show me how important it is from day one to incorporate technology into education. The moment an educator falls behind on the advancements in technology, their lessons fall behind as well. Technology is a major aspect of both our lives and our students lives; education needs to have a grounding in our students lives if we want it to impact them—if we want it to stick. Technology integration is a way to do this. Moreover, the integration of technology allows for teachers to show students how to use technology in an academic, rather than passive, way. While students may view the internet as a way to watch their favorite Youtubers or post their latest picture to Instagram, we as educators have a responsibility to show them that the internet can be used for so much more.

I think its important to ask an overarching question for the course: will my own ideas surrounding technology in the classroom be any different by the end of the course as compared to how I feel about it now?

We as future educators have an obligation to our students to educate them beyond the standards assigned to each concentration. As they move forward into the adult world, they need to possess the skills to become an active member in society. One of these skills is the understanding of technology. When we use technology as a means of education in the classroom, we aren’t just teaching them about Romeo and Juliet or the difference between a colon and a semicolon. We’re teaching them how to use technology in their professional and personal lives for the future.