For my individual project, I developed a lesson plan for my 18-21 year old transition students. The purpose of this lesson is to teach my students to use different technologies as a means for creating interactive blog pages that document their internship experiences.
2.2 Engaging Students in Learning. To me, 2.2 is one of the most important teaching standards a newly certified special education teacher must makes sure they fully understand and implement into their classroom. Teachers are to teach in ways that include all students by providing students with numerous examples and resources. In special education, students in the same classroom may have an array of different levels of understanding. One way I have learned to fully engage students in the learning experience is through the use of technology. When properly aligned to content standards, technology offers students the opportunity to learn in new creative and innovative ways and can easily be modified for each individual learner. According to Steven Turner (2011), research examining learner-centered environments indicate that one key to reengaging reluctant learners is to increase the number of authentic opportunities for students to feel competent in the classroom. Because students learn more when instruction is personally meaningful, educators who seek to support disengaged students should create as much alignment as possible between school goals and the learner’s goals. I have discovered teaching is not just about dictation and grading tests, it is about the integration of meaningful and useful resources that help students better understand the ideas presented to them.
As a person new to education, I have really jumped in and tried to correlate all of the information that I have been learning from my Seattle Pacific University classes. In regards to this standard, I have learned that the use of technology will help to engage my students in learning by challenging them intellectually. From sending an email to creating an interactive group presentation online, students use higher cognitive thinking skills in order to process technological information while at the same time becoming engaged in the learning process. New and exciting technology is available for visualizing and modeling and offers students new ways to experiment and observe ideas and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom. Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means (Edutopia, 2008).
So what does this mean for my future students? To me, the idea of engaging students in learning means to teach them in a meaningful way. I want my students to be excited to come to school and look forward to the learning process. I want to engage them in the learning process by integrating interactive websites, individual and group projects, and online newspapers and media into our daily curriculum. I want to integrate technology such as Glogster, digital storybooks, iMovie, and the use of Chromebooks to name a few. I want each of my students to feel successful and autonomous when creating original works. I love the idea of using technology as a way of engaging students in learning because it can be adapted for the use of every learner. Special education students who may struggle with reading and writing can utilize talk to text programs that offer them the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas without feeling overwhelmed by not being able to process information the same as their peers. Students that are shy are afforded the opportunity to find their voice online through interactive discussions. These are just a few of the wonderful examples of how technology can engage learners. The benefits for integrating technology into the learning process are endless. I look forward to learning more about different technologies and engagement possibilities while building a classroom that is inclusive and engaging to all students.
Turner, Steven. (2011). Student-centered instruction: Integrating the learning sciences to support elementary and middle school learners. Preventing School Failure, 55(3), 123–131, 2011.
Edutopia Team. (2008) Why integrate technology into the curriculum: The reasons are many. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction.
ISTE Standard 4: Glogster
Students are able to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make decisions using digital tools and resources.
Question: What online tools can teachers use to help students research, create and manage innovative project presentations?
In this article, Jamie Renton writes about Glogster.com and how students can use this website (and app!!) to analyze and organize information and then create interactive virtual project presentations. Renton highlights 3 main benefits to this program. Firstly, Glogster increases digital literacy by using technology tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding. Additionally, Glogster enables schools to meet and educational technology and content area standards for creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research and information fluency, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, and digital citizenship. Another benefit of Glogster is it gives diverse learners options for acquiring information and knowledge which facilitates problem solving and critical thinking skills. According to Kuo, Chen and Hwang (2014), research has proven that students’ high-order thinking ability, such as problem-solving, and critical thinking ability, could be effectively improved by means of searching for web-based resource. Glogster gives students the opportunity to compile the information that they have collected, organize it and present it. This application is a great tool for creating interactive poster presentations on different research and interest topics. I like that students are able to collect data, images and videos and then pick and choose what information they add to their Glog. The downside of Glogster is it is not free and requires a yearly registration fee of approximately $95 per year.
Kuo, F. R., Chen, N. S., & Hwang, G. J. (2014). A creative thinking approach to enhancing the web-based problem solving performance of university students. Computers & Education, 72(c), 220–230
ISTE Standard 3: Classroom in a Box
Question: How can the use of a digital learning environment be used to create personalized, interactive and engaging learning?
Article: Samsung’s Classroom in a Box lets Schools Test Drive 1:1
I love the idea of incorporating technology into the classroom. My positive experience with the Google Classroom has helped me to become comfortable with the idea of integrating online classrooms into our traditional classroom. I have found that students are more open to contributing ideas to online discussions, use additional creativity to formulate and execute their ideas and projects, and show an excitement for online learning. According to Peter Cookson Jr., a principal researcher for Education Sector, ‘Technology for instruction, if done well, allows students to reach out to a much broader world. Students today are comfortable with turning on a computer for learning. It’s not novel or unusual for them. The challenge is to use the technology creatively to meet learning goals” (Wong, 2014). Cookson makes an excellent point. Students today are tech-savvy. They have iPhones and tablets that they bring to school each day. It only makes sense to utilize the technology they are already using to enhance their education. Wylie Wong wrote, “Admittedly, new technology helps meet Common Core State Standards and online standardized testing requirements. But educators say their ultimate goal is to prepare students for success by helping them develop modern skills” (Wong, 2014).
The new Classroom in a Box goes beyond the integrated idea of the Google classroom. In the ‘box’ are all of the components needed to convert classrooms into one-to-one learning environments. The package includes 30 devices — either Galaxy Tab 4 Education tablets or Chromebook 2 notebooks — along with professional development solutions, and subscriptions and licenses for curriculums. Samsung partnered with McGraw-Hill to bulk up on digital curriculum offerings. The textbook publisher will provide 30 one-year subscriptions to its Thrive digital curriculum, which covers Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and math for grades 3-8 (Smith, 2015). This is a great opportunity for teachers to try out the program for a year before their district makes a financial commitment. The idea behind this technology is to integrate online classrooms into the traditional classroom thus creating a personalized, interactive and engaging learning experience.
Smith, D. Frank. (2015). Samsung’s classroom in a box lets schools test-drive 1:1. EdTech Focus on K-23. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2015/07/samsung-s-classroom-box-lets-schools-test-drive-11
Question: How can teachers use Twitter to facilitate discussion, relay information and create collaboration?
The focus of the ISTE Standard 2 is to help facilitate the use of digital media in the classroom in an effort to create quality discussion and effective collaboration between teachers and students. According to the National Education Association, the social media phenomenon, Twitter, is being used by educators ‘to enrich their classrooms.’ Teachers are using Twitter to review previous lessons, remind students of future lessons and create discussion in 140 characters or fewer. Students are then able to post questions or comments which facilitates discussion and collaboration. One teacher claimed that he used Twitter to keep his students thinking after class had ended. Michelle Lampinen, a high school teacher, makes use of blogging by creating lessons that ‘address multiple Common Core standards, hold students accountable while minimizing stress, be structured enough to provide clarity while giving freedom to experiment, be varied enough to keep students engaged, and get students to write for multiple purposes.’ Assignments such as these can also be adapted for use on Twitter. Many school districts around the country are encouraging educators to use social media to enhance their classrooms.
I love the idea of using Twitter as a mean for communication and collaboration within the classroom. I believe that by using social media, students who may be quiet or shy in the classroom, may find their voice among the message boards. Many older students are already using Twitter as a means of communication, through posting their own tweets and following their friends. It seems like a natural progression to integrate this type communication into the classroom as it has the potential to engage students in learning by using a format that they already enjoy!
Lampinen, M. (2013). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blogging-in-21st-century-classroom-