Discuss the apparent contradiction of the video “I Need My Teachers to Learn” and Prensky’s comments that “teachers do not need to learn to use it [technology] themselves.” How could you compare the ultimate goal of both approaches? Your opinion?
The ultimate goal of both Prensky’s and Honeycutt’s approaches is that students are using technology in the classroom in the ways that they want to and in ways that are relevant to the students and to learning. Both of these approaches also emphasis that teachers must be flexible to change and attentive to the needs of the students. Teachers cannot be afraid of technology in their classrooms and they cannot be resistant to having students using technology in the classroom either. Teachers need to move to understanding the students and see the world eye to eye.
I do not however agree with the statement that “teachers do not need to learn to use it themselves” (Prensky). I believe that teachers do need to learn how to use the technology that the students are using. One big reason is, that if teachers do not know and understand the technology that is being used by the student, can they effectively plan lessons and tasks? I think not. Just as teachers must know the content they are teaching, the “verbs” I think they should also know the “nouns.” What happens when a student who hasn’t had as much experience steps into the room? What happens when the technology goes array? Teachers need to be able to step in and direct and guide students. They can’t do this if they don’t know what to do. I recently was teaching while students used iPads and I encountered a student who didn’t even know how to turn the iPad on. While yes, it is good to have the students help each other, it was also important that I help them while the other students work on their own tasks and assignments. Also, how can I ensure rigor if I do not completely understand what the students are doing with the technology? Yes the teacher should guide, coach, create rigorous tasks, bring engagement to the classroom, and provide students with content that is relevant, but the teacher should also understand the technology and the world that the students are growing up and learning in.
Discuss one main point that Prensky poses in this week’s readings and provide links to and discussion about two or more articles, websites, videos, blogs, podcasts, etc. (from different authors) that contribute to this point.
In this week’s reading, Prensky discusses student engagement when partnering and technology are used as the teaching model. He says that “Partnering teachers find that the process of students actively answering questions leads almost universally to higher engagement. [and] The increased engagement, in turn typically produces better retention of material” (pg 16). I can truly see how engagement is increased when students get to use technology the way they would like. Students are interested in technology and their attention can be kept much more easily. When students are immersing themselves into content and research by way of technology, there is no way that they could NOT be engaged! Students love technology and beg to use it on a daily basis; if more teachers could find a way to use it more often in the classroom, they would see an increase in student learning. I have seen student engagement increase greatly when I use iPads in the classroom. Students used them to create Educreation Lessons that taught about tone and meaning in graphic novels. I do not think I have ever seen students so excited to come to class, excited to learn, and excited to WORK!
EduTopia is a great website that provides not only history of technology integration and research on technology integration, but also of specific ideas and guides for using technology. It has blogs and videos about technology in education and you can even browse by grade level. Check it out: EDUTOPIA
I am a huge fan of Twitter and use it on a daily basis. There are many people and organizations that you can follow that tweet out information. One profile I find interesting is the Twitter for Microsoft Education. Their goal is to help students, teachers, and schools find innovation. While some of their tweets highlight their own workshops or products, I do find some interesting discussions on there. You can follow them at: @Microsoft_EDU
I also like to follow Dr. Solis on Twitter as well. He is an instructional designer from Baylor university. Most of his tweets focus on technology use in the classroom and increasing student engagement and finding what works best for your students. Most everything he tweets about is also FREE, which I love. You can follow him at: @drsolis
Finally, a blog that I recently found is by a Superintendent. He blogs often about the engagement that is happening in his school district and also gives great resources of how to bring more engagement to your own classroom. One thing I really like is his approach and ideas that the engagement and use of technology to promote student learning is more important than any test! You can see his blog here: Eric Williams
Give one instructional example of each component of C-Rea-T-E in Partnering and justify each example. Your examples may come from the Prensky book or you make up examples in keeping with Prensky’s philosophy.
C- In partnering, here is an instructional example for cognitive complexity at a level 4. In a level 4, the students are generating questions or projects at the analyze, evaluate, or create level. In this task students should generate questions they have about the rainforest ecosystem. Then students should blog about these questions and their findings including links to the answers that they discovered. This is partnering because students are the focus and they are generating the questions and focus for the lesson. It also incorporates technology by asking them to use a blog.
Rea- In partnering, here is an instructional example for Real World connection at a level 4. In level 4 the learning emphasizes and impacts the classroom, school, or community, and learning is integrated across subject areas. In this task, students make a video on genetically modified food that change their parents shopping habits. This activity is very real to students because it directly affects their families and their health. It is a partnering task because the students are doing their own research, using technology to create the video, and then using it to teach their families. They are also becoming a world changer.
T- In partnering here is an instructional example of technology integration at a level 3. In level 3, technology can be an add-on and is used at analyze, evaluate, or create level. In this task, students are given the Gettysburg Address and asked to analyze and the document. Students should create a Glogster that represents the important parts and ideas of the Gettysburg Address. This is partnering because students are asked to pull apart the document and make meaning from what is written. They can have teacher guidance but they need to make it their own an in their own words. Technology in this task is also an add-on, students could easily do this paper pencil as well.
E- In partnering, here is an instructional example for engagement on a level 3. In a level 3 the students get a choice for the task and is differentiated by content and product. In this task, students are asked to choose a health issue or disease that may or may have personal significance to them. They should research and teach themselves about the issue or disease, how it affects the body, cures, and causes. Then they can present this information through whatever media they choose (Prezi, Animoto Video, Educreation presentation). This is a real life skill that students will use in their lives and it is partnering because students must teach themselves.
I love the idea of having a partnering classroom. It does seem to make sense that students are more engaged in this type of setting. I am excited to try some of the ideas and activities that I have read about this week in my own classroom.