Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Final Blog: The last 11 weeks!

Over the past 11 weeks I have learned a lot about using and integrating technology into my future classes. I also developed a love for it. This was my favorite class and as a result I want to take more technology related courses. However my opinion hasn’t changed all that much about technology integration because I already thought it was important. As a younger student and marketing coordinator, I’m part of the generation who can’t imagine a world without technology. I use it every day to influence possible buyers and can easily translate it into influencing students to learn. However I can’t say that my opinion isn’t exactly the same. I didn’t relies some of the advantages that can be used in the younger levels. Since I plan to be a high school business teacher I couldn’t imagine not pumping my class full of technology related learning but as a preschool or elementary teacher there are a lot of options also.

After 11 weeks I may have not changed my opinion for using technology but I know now why I should use it. Before it was “just because” but now I know that the next generations use it even more than I did and they communicate through it. I also know that the world is ever changing and if my students want to be successful they will need to be supported in using it.

I never thought I would make a website based on a lesson plan (webquest) and neither did any of my friends. They were all equally as impressed with this class as I was. This class was great because it makes teachers feel unlimited and connecting with students is easier. All in 11 short weeks, minus snow days!!

Technology Lit Review 2

In the Journal of Technology Education there is an article by Luke J. Steinke and Alvin R. Putnam titled, “Why Should I Stay? Factors Influencing Technology Education Teachers to Stay in Teaching Positions”. The date of publications is Fall 2007.
The article discusses the problem of retaining technology education teachers in the teaching profession. Research shows that 14% of teachers leave after 1 year and 46% leave after their fifth year. Steinke study research almost 500 teachers and administrators in the technology education field. They preformed there study thru email as two parts. The first part was demographics and background information. The second part was a list of 28 factors that would influence a teacher to either leave of stay in education. The participates were asked to number each factor by 1thru 5 based on how influential it was; 1 being not influential to 5 being highly influential. The study found that teacher’s top 4 influential factors were; “provision of yearly raises for all teachers, the school had resources available for professional development, the school had a collaborative work environment, and having the teacher teaching the subject they prefer” On contrary, the 4 lease influential were; “providing raises above the district average for technology education teachers, paying off the teacher’s student loan, promoting technology education teachers based on performance and paying technology education teachers above the district average.”
Based on Steinke’s findings he concluded that technology education teachers are not looking to get paid more than other teachers but to get raises adequately. Also he found it appealing that teachers are looking for collaboration not student loans paid off. Unfortunately, programs are in placed to give retention bonus and student loans to get paid off. Therefore Steinke suggest that programs such as induction and mentoring and support collaborating environments need to be used. Steinke also suggestion schools must follow Standards for Technological Literacy and provide resources teacher need. Lastly Steinke recognized the importance of salary but also found in his study that teachers are looking for comparative raises not special treatment.
I found this article to be extremely interesting because I had no idea there was a shortage in technology education teachers. I’m equally surprised by the lack of administrative support and peer issues that currently affect teacher retention. However I am not surprised that theirs a lack of funding for resources for these classes. This article is bittersweet for me because it shows that there is a lot of turnover in teaching positions also meaning availability to for jobs after school but alarming to hear all the issues that make becoming a teacher so difficult.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Equal Access to the Digital World

How can you provide equal access to the digital world to all learners?

I HAVE NO IDEA. Seriously I don’t know. I would like to think that every student and teacher works and lives in a small town like I do and offers both the teachers and the students the newest technologies, but they don’t. I would like to say, “use the library” but I know that won’t fix the economic gap that a lot of families face in a diverse school. I would also like to go out and buy all my students person notebooks and say, “here go” but we all know I won’t be able to do that either. Thus far I’ve learned about a global, mobile school where students must have, a mac notebook, ipad and iphone or 3:1. A school that offers a touch screen white board with hand held devises 1:1. Also, another school that only provides a computer lab and a cart of laptops. I also shadowed a class that provided notebooks for student only during that class only for a certain educational game. It seems to me that the majority of schools, in my current area of NH, have some kind of technology available for teachers to integrate into their lessons. However, I can’t speak for the low income areas in big cities such as Boston or New York City.
On another thought, we have been taught in these education course that student centered learning is the best practice. We have also been told that not every student learns the same or have the same level of understanding. We learned that the best teachers are the teachers who know their students; they know roughly the background of each student. Hopefully using this information will help provide equal access to the digital world.
I think the smart boards are a great way to integrate technology in a classroom that holds a majority of students without internet access. I feel that the smart board will bring in technology with a good investment backing and allows all students to participate.
I think there are a lot of programs out there that provide computer for students in need. I think all teachers should get involved in these programs whether they are on the receiving on giving end. We had a speaker in another class that informed us that every grade in his school supports a special cause. As a business high school teacher I know I want my students to learn about business practices, this could lead to supporting a non-profit, kids want to help.
I support the class trip to the computer room or library, maybe a field trip to the public library can make student aware of the possibilities. If nothing at all tell the students about technologies in the classroom. The students are more likely to enjoy technology based instruction and it will prepare them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Literature Review

The new and improved 7th grade English room was finally finished and we could see the difference, windows looked clean and new, color of the room matched the interior design of the rest of the hall and more importantly there was a white board that with a flick of a button either lowered from the ceiling or disappeared back into the ceiling. Cool, we all thought. This was the new technology when I was 14. Yes I’m young enough to have gone to school after projectors died out and teachers used PowerPoint through computer networking. However, it wasn’t till I went back, now at 25, for my masters that I was informed that those white boards are now touch screens. Shocked and amazed. Curiosity lead me to an article on called ‘5 K-12 Technology trends for 2011’. This article was written by Bridget McCrea on 12/02/2010. The article highlights the five top movements in technology for 2011.
All of the advances touch on budget saving techniques and other cost effective avenues. The first 3 are technologies to better the student centered learning environments and the last two are upgrades for professional development. The article predicts more mobile devices, or other 1:1 implementations to increase 24/7 access to technology and “ubiquitous learning”. Another trend is an increase in web-based instruction. The author feels that an increase in online classes has already and will continue to save schools money while provided the student with more outlets to take advance classes, make up for missed credits and expand their interests. Automatic monitoring and assessment tools will amplify individualizing students. In turn, a teacher will learn the student strengths and weaknesses before it’s too late. Real time data collection will stop the delay of adjusting a teacher’s lesson plan. The cloud is the newest and most cost effective application. It does away with expensive hardware and soft wear and encourages collaboration between teachers, and available space. The last technology trend is an increase in technology available for teachers. Teachers must be able to keep up with the students and technology will make it easier. Technology will make professional development more accessible which is necessary for all teachers.
The article was both interesting and relevant for solving the constraints that teachers, students and school district face today. Technology has the ability to boost the school culture for the better.

Here is the link for the article

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This week I listened to another EdTechTalk pod cast and this time it was about the first global, mobile high school, Think Global. The pod cast was Episode 143 recorded on November 3rd 2010. Interesting, I know. Alex, Marvin and Vinnie were speaking to the head of the school, Brad Ovenell-Carter. You could hear the passion in Brad’s voice as he described the idea of a school that learned in the world instead of about the world. Freshmen year they start in Stockholm where they have Swedish guest speakers and a host school, the second location is Sydney where they plan to study the ocean and last stop is Beijing. Currently, this school had fifteen 9th graders from 11 different countries that are scheduled to visit 3 different cities in 3 different countries in 3 terms before entering 10th grade to do it again in 3 different countries. By the time these student have graduate 12th grade they will have gone around the world 4 times. Brad tells the guys that this school has no bells, is technology heavy and operations are radical. He also goes on to tell them that the kids still are obligated to learn the same math and English as other school but have the ability to decide their own schedule. If the students need more time on a certain subject they change their schedule on the fly. Or if the kids ask to meet at 8pm on a Sunday night to do there math lesson, the schedule is easily updated. Teachers are still required to record their hours to keep the school certified and do so on a Google calendar. The necessary tools to be a student at this school are an iPad, iPhone and mac notebook. Students live in a hostel and have access to labs, amazing field trips, guest speakers and even a rented kitchen to learn local food preparation. Some challenges the school faces is bad internet connections, and globalizations. The kids all met on Facebook prior to there in person introduction and the entire student all like the same hit songs and movies and found it to be a reunion instead of a cultural event. I connected with the pod cast because a personal educational philosophy much like, Brads, “we want to teach the students to make sense of information but more importantly to make good judgments”.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I listen to an Edtechtalk, more specifically #144 Various: NEIT2010 Reflection, Global Education Conference, and I choose to listen to this podcast because it talked about focus and more importantly distraction. I have never heard an Edtechtalk so I didn’t know what to expect. It was interesting. I thought it would have more information on the book,’ Focus, the simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction’, however they mostly just have a quick conversation about all the education related events going on in the world at that time. Even though I did not get to hear more about the book I did learn that these were all really smart guys, Alex, Irvin and Vinnie. I learned about the update about smart phones with Google docs and Swipe. I got to hear about the local conference that Vinnie spoke at and the Global Education Conference. Without hearing what the book is really about I did learn that it was free and if you actually pay for it threw Kindle, it is also very much worth the money. Mostly I leave the site interested in listening to more and none the less looking for the free PDF version of the book.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Nation Reflection

Wow. I was expecting the movie to be all positive on the concept of technology. However I’m not surprised. I remember hearing about people dying in the Asian countries because of the gaming world. The only thing I had to relate to exaggerated video gaming was dating. It sounds off topic but it’s not. My friends and I notice a difference in the guys we dated based on age. Besides the obvious of maturity levels there were also the endless video game hours. The older the guy we dated the less we were subject to video games. The phrase "Sega Boy" which I first heard in an all time classic, Mall Rats, was used to describe this same type of guy which the strong, independent heroine dumped during the movie. When is technology too much?

Lately, I’ve been receiving invitations thru email to all kinds of parties: holiday, birthday, bachelorette and communions. My invitation for my wedding has always been something I dreamed about some day and I refuse to send it via the World Wide Web, but if I don’t will some people miss my wedding? If I don’t cater to the inbox and the mail box, I might lose my techie friends and families presence. There is definitely a gap between the digital immigrates and the digital natives but, I think the movie was more interested in the difference between traditions and ultra fast technology world we live in today.

I found the movie to be very interesting and difficult to pick a side. The toughest thing to grasp was the Military experience world. At first I found it morally wrong; however from a business perspective it is ingenious. It is both terrible and great. Here is a way to show perspective recruits what is sort of like a real battle. Then they can make a better or more educated decision before joining. Or this is a way to trick perspective recruits to think military or war is fun like video games. Unfortunately we might never know because our studies of the technology world are continuously out of date.

The principal was right when he said that kids tomorrow won’t have to remember information but will need to build, solve problems and other technology related activities. As a teacher I will believe both sides. I want to teach not only the basics but also the concepts to find the means to survive in the technology world.