Standards for using Technology in the Classroom:
First: the idea that using technology in our classrooms is a way of inspiring creativity. Instilling creativity and curiosity in our students should encourage them to have a deeper desire to learn more. If students are intrigued by a new idea or situation, teachers can use technology to compel this interest to help the student learn more about that topic. For example, if students are interested in learning about another country, allow them to explore Google earth and see real life images of what it looks like. Or, perhaps a Skype session could be set up with another classroom from that country and students could have the opportunity to interview them. After, the students could give a presentation using Powerpoint, or perhaps record their reflections in a blog entry. In this way, students would be reflecting using collaborative tools to help them in their critical thinking and creative processes. There are so many ways that teachers can make learning relevant and get students to reflect on real- life issues while compelling students interests and using technology.
Secondly, I also believe it is very important for teachers to demonstrate digital responsibility in their classrooms. Though technology and the internet can be used for many positive educational and practical uses, there can also be a way of using technology that is not appropriate. As teachers, we need to model and teach our students about safe, legal, and ethical means of using technology. This could include teaching about copyright, appropriate documentation of sources, age inappropriate websites, or communicating with strangers. If we take the time to promote responsibility using digital media, technology can be a very positive and beneficial tool in our classrooms.
Conditions for using technology in the classroom:
One of the conditions that stood out to me was the importance of developing lessons plans using technology based on student centered learning. Teachers must plan and teach around the needs and abilities of students. I think this is where the idea of differentiated learning comes into the classroom and making sure that we are catering to each child’s individual needs: a difficult task, but a worthwhile one to help our students grow to the best of their potentials. Each of our students are going to come with different abilities, and different learning styles: we need to be ready with different ways we can help them develop those things.
The other thing I enjoyed about these conditions was the idea about being an ongoing professional learner. While we acknowledge that we have been blessed with the opportunity to be a guide and teacher for our students, they aren’t the only ones doing the learning. As teachers, we should be dedicating ourselves to being lifelong learners; we have a whole lot to learn from them and from other educators. We should be committed to sharing, and practicing new ways of integrating technology and other creative means of learning within our classrooms. Related to this-last week I joined Twitter, and since then I have found numerous educators offering practical ways of integrating technology in the classroom. The education world is blessed to have so many people willing to share their creative ideas! It makes becoming a teacher THAT much more exciting! J