Before taking EDIT2000, I had never really thought much about technology integration in education. My high school trigonometry teacher used a Smartboard to demonstrate problems and asked us questions using a learner-response device, but that was the extent of my exposure to technology in education. Now, I see that it is a very valuable tool. It is important that teachers expose kids to technology in the classroom to prepare them for our 21st century world. Using technology in the classroom helps keep kids engaged in the material in a way that is interactive, fun, and adds depth to the material! I think that augmented reality apps like ZooBurst could be particularly effective in the classroom and add a new dimension to learning! I hope to become a pediatric speech pathologist, and using technology in therapy sessions can be a great way to keep kids engaged during short weekly therapy sessions. I feel like kids in middle and high school often grow to dislike learning in school because most of their classes are made of lectures and textbooks. Communicating with these kids creatively using photos, videos, and other forms of technology helps keep them engaged and enthusiastic about learning. That being said, technology is a tool for instruction and not the solution- without a great teacher presenting these technology in an effective way to teach the material, they are useless.
EDIT2000 has been an adventure for me! Justine is so sweet and enthusiastic about her subject. I think she is the perfect mix of leniency and discipline, meaning that she could lay down the law when she had to, but she was also very kind and encouraged us to think outside of the box as well. I got to be a lot more creative in this class than I did with my other classes, which were mainly lecture-based. I looked forward to working on projects and reflections for this class, whereas I dreaded reading and studying for my other classes sometimes. Though I am not an education major, the creativity and communication skills I learned in this class will come in handy once I start my career and beyond.
I read ‘The Art and Science of Teaching: Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards,” and it made me reflect upon how useful Smartboard technology can be as a learning tool when used effectively. In the study described in the article, using SmartBoards was associated with a 16th percentile increase in student achievement. When our speakers came to class last week and demonstrated how to use SmartBoard technology, I was amazed by all the different tools and features they have. They are like giant iPads that you can write on! I definitely agree with this article when it says that SmartBoards make learning more interactive and fun. These boards can be used with everyone from elementary school students to adult learners.
I think that SmartBoards are great tools for teachers and presenters because they allow listeners to interact with the material using the learner-response device. SmartBoards also allow presenters to present their material in an interesting or unusual way that is memorable to the audience using graphics and reinforcers. In my high school math and economics classes, we used SmartBoard handheld voting devices frequently. I found that doing math problems and answering questions this way was much more engaging than doing them via more traditional methods such as pencil and paper. I also liked that we received immediate feedback using this method. It was sometimes a little embarrassing when the results of everyone in the class were displayed on the Smartboard and I got questions wrong that most of the class did not. However, it was motivating to see where I stood among my classmates.
I believe that SmartBoards are worthy of installing in schools and businesses, as long as they are used to teach the material effectively. Their uses are not limited to classrooms- they can be used in business settings or even in allied health therapies. In this video, a woman describes how she integrates her SmartBoard in her speech therapy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIsSMgNYfKI
The article describes how teachers who did not pace their material well or did not explain why one response was more appropriate than another saw better results without using SmartBoards. As with any form of technology used in education, SmartBoards are no substitute for a competent and effective teacher. Since they can cost up to $5,000, it is important that teachers and presenters take advantage of this tool.
Our group made a lot of progress during this week. After watching the presentations of other groups, we began to realize just how much more work we had to do and how much more creative we could potentially be with our project. The peer feedback helped us immensely to discover things that we could potentially change with our project- 15 different points of view from all my classmates are definitely more useful than just those of myself and the people in my group! Our group decided that we wanted to make our website more creative and interactive and include more material about why our topic is so essential. After reading the feedback of our peers, our group decided to include testimonials from friends about driving so that students can see the importance of defensive driving from the viewpoint of their peers. We created 2 DMV practice quizzes to serve as an assessment of their knowledge. We are still missing a student product, a technology-related activity, lecture materials, a Student Product, Timeline, and the Reflection, which is a little scary. We will definitely be addressing these issues as a group this week as well as adding to the other features of the website to make it as great as we possibly can!
During the week of October 27 through November 2, our group made some significant progress on our project. We made a video to serve as our Author Introduction to the website. We found a few resources to use for the “Hook” portion of our project, as well as a crossword puzzle with terms that pertain to defensive driving. Our group struggled to find standards to use for our essential question, since driver’s education isn’t a required part of the curriculum in most schools. Thankfully, we found some standards created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This week, we learned that creating a website like this that teaches readers about a certain topic, engages students, and provides classroom activities that can be used in classrooms around the world is fun, but at the same time a challenging task. At this point in the project, I am both excited and a little intimidated by how much work there is left to do. We have still not done anything for our project’s i+1 Zone, Student Project, Assessment, Timeline, or Reflection.