TL-I Technology Operations and Concepts
What is school? A place to teach students a million facts about a million subjects? A place for students to restate what the teacher has said? Are schools a place for students to show their knowledge by taking many tests? I do not feel these are my goals when it comes to teaching or to my own learning. I have moved away from simple recall to one of deeper understanding. I believe technology is something that is necessary in today's world in order to collaborate, manipulate, research, debate, explain, and present ideas. I believe it is my job as an educator to figure out a way to help students use technology more effectively.
I feel technology in some ways has always been part of my learning beginning in high school. I remember using word processing to write term papers. Next in college I used technology to express my own ideas, but do not remember professors using it to teach me. I remember using technology in order to recall information or to write my opinion, but not used as a collaboration tool. This way of thinking was not shifted until I started teaching in a district that hired new technology directors, replaced technology standards, poured money into technology resources, and built up the technology infostructure of the district. This push from the district on using technology effectively helped to shape my view of technology in the classroom.
In my first few years as a teacher, one of the fears I had with using technology is that I will use some application and later it will become outdated. I did not want to teach my students to use a certain piece of technology, but instead to I wanted to teach them to use technology as a means to collaborate, manipulate, research, debate, present and explain ideas. I remember being in college and only having one class on classroom technology integration and it was on using HyperStudio. I have not used HyperStudio since and have had a hard time finding reviews of it online. I did fine one online from 1993 (Beekman). This program has been on and off the mark and is now available. I also remember using Appleworks in college and not it is no longer available (Evans, 2007). These two programs were of good quality, but my fear is basing my teaching on program is that it will no longer be available or I will not have access to it. . My approach to technology is not teach students certain programs, but to teach students to use technology to express ideas. Students need to know that they have a range of different technology applications in order to do the same job. They can use the application that allows them to communicate their ideas clearly.
I have centered my classrooms around this philosophy. I have created lessons where students use technology to express their ideas. Through talking with other teachers, going to conferences, and doing online research I have found many web tools, stand alone programs, and interactive...