Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Technology is Essential in the Classroom

One of my goals this semester is to have the teachers collaboratively create a unit for the classroom that has technology at its core.  Administrators must support and drive the use of technology in the classroom.  According to ISTE standard for administrators, effective school leaders "facilitate and support collaborative technology-enriched learning environments conducive to innovation for improve learning".  I would like to use Dr. Marzano's book, "Technology in the Classroom That Works" to guide us.  Kids love using technology.  It is a new literacy that will equip our students for a successful future.  Technology opens door for purposeful learning that indirectly inspires and motivates students.  Students feel as if they are in charge of their learning. Student centric classrooms puts the responsibility of learning on the student without the power struggle.

Sometimes the power struggle that proves to be the biggest obstacle is ourselves.  There exists a huge hesitation and apprehension around using something new or foreign.  We feel vulnerable.  I watched this TEDX talk this morning given by Brene' Brown a professor of sociology at the University of Houston.  Powerful talk.  

What we must realize that, yes, while we must recognize our own vulnerability, we must recognize our students' vulnerability, as well.  Our students must be the reason for our courage, our compassion, and our self realization.  Blogging may seem irrelevant or useless unless we challenge ourselves to discover the value of blogging.  Why should our students be blogging? 

Common Core State Standards are setting a new standard for learning and teaching for that matter. I believe it will make learning and teaching more meaningful and fun.  For example, first graders are being asked to "participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics" and "build on others' talk, ask questions, and clear up conversations". Here is a link to a CCSS. CCSS is challenging us to go deeper and be more relevant, i.e. more grounded.  It's challenging us to come up with multiple solutions to problems that address the real problem.  It's challenging us to diagnose, prescribe, and rehabilitate.  

I would like to incorporate these web 2.0 resources in our unit: (1) epals; (2) Skype; (3) Kidblog; and (4) Classroom 2.0.  I believe the sooner we begin creating our own curriculum using CCSS as our guide, the greater our student achievement will be and the less vulnerable we will all be.  


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