Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lit Review #2

My first Lit Review was a long (36 page) scientific study about encorporating computers into daily lessons in middle school. In addition, I have been reading other classmates blogs and their articles, and I wanted to do something very different. This time I chose to do a review of blackboard technology from Pearson.

Product Review: Pearson digits
By MaryAnn Karre

I found this review on the Tech and Learning website which is designed to be an informative publication on integrating technology into the classroom. is a IWB programed developed around the Common Core State Standards for middle school math. It offers dozens of subjects for each grade level. The author feels as though this is great tool for math teachers offering them classroom lessons as well as individual online homework assignments allowing the teacher to provide extra practice for some students and more challenging work for others.

One teacher actually posted a comment that they spend so much time preparing IWB plans, that they are really looking forward to using this tool and alleviating some of their burden.

My thoughts are that this tool seems like a great way for schools to assist teachers in introducing technology in the classroom, especially for those teachers who are skeptical or just new to it. It allows the teacher to encorporate the technology into their lesson without leaving them to figure out how to do it. It will each teacher to determine how much to use it. At a cost of $12 a student, one would hope that they find it to be a great program and use it to it's fullest.

In addition, I thought  new teachers like myself would benefit from having this "canned" program in their arsenal to start my teaching career. I know that I want to use this kind of tool in my classroom but I may not be ready to create such an interactive program on my first day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final Thoughts of "Technology in the Classroom"

How has your opinion changed (or why has it stayed the same) over the past 11 weeks regarding Technology Integration?
This is the first class of my masters program, and I have to say that I hadn't given much thought about technology in the classroom. My vision of teaching elementary students stems from my days in K-6. Let's just say that is has been more than 20 years since I was in elementary school and much has changed; computers for students and teachers, new technology including whiteboards, new subjects, new expectations, etc.

When I walked into the classroom, I don't think I expected to be exposed to really anything that I don't encounter in my every day life. It would be an understatement to say that I was very wrong. In this class, I have been exposed to tools, concepts and was of approaching lessons that I have never considered.

 My paradigm has definitely been changed. I would have said that my role as a teacher was to help my students master the material in the lesson and inspire them to love to learn. Now, I realize that it is not about what my students learn, but the means in which they learn it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chapter 6 Thoughts...

Coming from the Corporate world, I can't help but think that this chapter spent a great deal of time encouraging administrators and people in leadership roles to be patient and gentle with teachers who were apprehensive about introducing technology into their classroom. Personally I struggled with this concept: although I appreciate that each person has different comfort levels with technology and each person learns in different ways and time frames, in the corporate world, you are expected to quickly adapt and get on board or get out.

I am sure that there are some great teachers who are hesitant with learning and utilizing technology in their lessons. But that being said, I find it disturbing that we would allow teachers to not get on board. How do teachers create 21st century thinkers without using 21st century tools?

I find myself a little wary about my personal abilities with including technology in my classroom. Despite my occasional personal embarrassment, I tend to be a outspoken leader. I am wondering if and how I am going to be a leader in the change going forward when I am just learning about these tools myself. I guess I am very thankful that I am learning it as I develop  my own methods and style.