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Training Teachers To Integrate Web 2.0 Tools Into The Classroom

1498 words - 6 pages

The internet offers fantastic opportunities to engage students in learning, yet some teachers hesitate to implement new technology into their classroom. Integration of Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, discussion boards, and flipped instruction, requires training and preparation for educators. Despite the commonly-held notion that using technology helps prepare students for life after graduation, many school districts do not equip teachers with the necessary tools to succeed. Some teachers lack confidence integrating different tools into their lessons. In order to increase teachers’ Web 2.0 skills, school districts must offer explicit training that models creative and effective uses for ...view middle of the document...

0 tools that offer immense educational value. Explicit instruction on how to use these tools is needed in order for teachers and students to feel comfortable using them.
Furthermore, efforts by teachers to use technology in the classroom must receive support from principals and administrators to sustain long-term success. According to researchers Cappo and Orellana (2011), the pressure placed on educators for student achievement hinders the use of technology in the classroom. Many teachers feel using technology takes away from teaching the skills needed to pass the state test. School districts which embrace a technology-based curriculum enable teachers to have confidence in experimenting with their lessons. Principals and district administrators must stand up to the pressures of standardized testing and focus on teaching skills which will prepare students for the 21st century workforce.
Research Foundations
Theoretical Foundations
While implementing technology in the classroom remains a relatively new phenomenon, training teachers to meet the needs of students dates back long ago. Understanding philosophical, historical, psychological, and social factors that influence the needs of modern society helps clarify the reasons needed for district-wide implementation of modern technology into the classroom.
Philosophical factors. The progressive philosophy/pragmatic base aims to promote democratic, social living. Using Web 2.0 technologies connects people across the world and allows for everyone to have their own voice. Progressives/Pragmatics focus on active and relevant learning for knowledge acquisition. Using interactive quizzes, online games, and discussion threads allow students to actively engage with the content. These tools help connect the students and the content in an exciting way. The role of education in a progressive/pragmatic philosophy calls for the teacher to guide the students in problem solving and scientific inquiry. Using technology in the classroom helps teachers give up some control and places more responsibility on the student for their own learning. Technology makes it easier to provide scaffolds that motivate students and increase achievement.
Historical factors. The nineteenth century European educators shifted the focus from rote memorization, and teacher-centered instruction to a more interactive, student-centered pedagogy. This progressive shift led to the focus on the whole child. Herbert Spencer and, later, Abraham Flexner argued for a practical curriculum that prepared students to work in society (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2013). Integrating Web 2.0 tools allows teachers to meet the individual needs of each student. With its focus on student collaboration and problem solving, using new technology helps develop students who possess the critical thinking skills needed to become productive adults.
Psychological factors. Adopting a connectivist approach helps educators embrace technology. ...

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