Monthly Archives: July 2014

Obstacles and Suggested Solutions for Integrating Technology Into the Content Area

Throughout this course, it has been overwhelmingly evident that technology integration is key to the future of education.  No longer are we in a time that was similar to our experience in middle or high school, we are now in a time where technology is affecting our learning.

This is what I love about the EdTech field.  We are continually on the cutting edge of new learning technologies that not only can enhance our own learning, but the learning of our children (and students if you are in a classroom) as well.

Yet change makes people queasy.  Change brings on defensiveness, pride and opposition and yet within the realm of education, technology integration is going to be an essential change for now and into the future.  The integration of technology into the classroom will bring various opposition depending on subject area.

For example, some obstacles that will come up while trying to integrate technology into a social studies curriculum are cost, standards, and the overwhelmingly abundant amount of information on the internet.  When thinking specifically of social studies Roblyer and Doering (2012) state, “As an area that focuses on the interconnections of people and the earth, social studies education has been affected by the impact of technology perhaps more than any other content area”(p. 334).  Social studies covers such a broad area of content that integrating technology can be difficult.  In regards to standards and the difficulties that might come up, the incredible amount of standards to be addressed can be overwhelming for the instructional designer or teacher.  This is not necessarily a specific technology integration issue, but one that has been approached before the integration of technology.  The difficulty can come into how to provide good social studies experiences for learners. For some, the switch from a purely text-book based curriculum to a more experiential and project based activities.  Technology could be integrated into social studies by using different strategies such as (Roblyer and Doering 2012): Virtual field trips, geocaching with gps devices, history immersion experiences, stock market simulations, electronic storytelling, and more (p. 348).

Another obstacle that can arise integrating technology into the classroom is the training in the specific technology that a teacher has or receives.  Currently our school (International Christian School Hong Kong) we are moving into a 1:1 program where students will have MacBook Pro laptop computers.  One difficulty that we are seeing is that teacher experience and training is taking longer than expected.  The level of understanding the MBP is diverse across the three grade levels.  This has caused a slowing in the integration process.  Because the teachers are struggling with simple tasks in using the computers, there is not ample time to train them in how they could integrate this technology into their curriculum.  The school is understaffed in this area and it will be interesting to see how the transition starts.  Understandably this transition will take some time for the teachers to bring into their classes. Hopefully as they become more familiar with the tools available, they will be able to enhance their learning experiences using technology.

Works Cited

Roblyer, M., & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6a ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson.

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Social Networks and Walled Gardens

Voicethread on Social Networks and Walled Gardens

Click to link to see the presentation!

http://voicethread.com/share/5913653/

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Safety on the Internet

 

(image source)

Having the opportunity to be a part of the EdTech department has been a real blessing.  At the same time, I also get to be a part of a school that is making a transition into a 1:1 model using MacBook Pro computers.  The real opportunity here is being able to be a part of two programs that are on the forefront of education and technology.  

That being said, priority number 1 as a teacher with students who will be linked to the web more often than not is to help them understand what it means to be safe online as well as what it means to be a good digital citizen.  

As a teacher there are 4 (and probably more if I really think about it) guidlines that I want to give my students in regards to internet safety and digital citizenship as they embark on this new educational journey.  

 

Guideline #1:  Privacy is not always private…be aware of what you share!

         There is a glaring misconception within our middle school population (and probably most middle school populations) that when you post something on the internet it is only going to go to the people that know you.  The alternative is simple- Be smart with what and to whom you share information.  

     1.  Do not accept friend requests or email messages from people that you don’t know or  

           haven’t talked to in person. 

     2.  Never, EVER, share your password to any of your online accounts. (Facebook, email, etc.)

     3.  Set your privacy settings to a strict level to protect your information from strangers on the  

           internet. 

For more information on Online Privacy go here:  http://www.edudemic.com/online-privacy-guide/

 

Guidline #2:  “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” Newton’s 3rd Law

          Consider your actions online something of a chain.  This chain is linked to you the moment that you start joining networks or emails online.  Every action that you take online from searches, or games, to harmful posts and pictures making fun of someone else, will stick with you forever.  It is very possible that inappropriate content that you post to the internet could come back to affect your future.  College administrators and future employers might stumble across comments or pictures that you posted when you were in high school.  They might find this information offensive and not allow you into their institution or the job that you always wanted.  Beware that all information online is open to everyone and sometimes it can affect your future greatly. 

For more information on your digital footprint go here: http://www.edudemic.com/your-digital-footprint/

 

Guideline #3:  Stand Up for what is right!

          Think about what you are using these computers for.  There are strict guidelines in each of your classes about which websites you should be using.  If you see someone on an inappropriate website or postin inappropriate material, report it.  This includes bullying other students!  If everyone works to clean up the web and hold each other accountable, there is no way we will be overcome with the negative information that can be on the web. 

Here is more information on cyber-bullying and it’s effects: http://www.edudemic.com/cyberbullying/

Guideline #4:  You are not alone-Communicate with your teacher

          Sometimes being online can feel individual.  There are feelings that you are the only one struggling with certain websites, that you are the only one who is being bullied, or the only one who doesn’t know how to use different tools required for our class.  Please come and talk to the teacher about what is going on.  The first goal for all of your teachers is that you are safe and understand the information that we are sharing with you.  

For more information about communicating with your teacher go here: 

http://www.edudemic.com/7-survival-skills-modern-teachers-students/

 

 

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Safety on the Internet

(image source)

Having the opportunity to be a part of the EdTech department has been a real blessing.  At the same time, I also get to be a part of a school that is making a transition into a 1:1 model using MacBook Pro computers.  The real opportunity here is being able to be a part of two programs that are on the forefront of education and technology.

That being said, priority number 1 as a teacher with students who will be linked to the web more often than not is to help them understand what it means to be safe online as well as what it means to be a good digital citizen.

As a teacher there are 4 (and probably more if I really think about it) guidlines that I want to give my students in regards to internet safety and digital citizenship as they embark on this new educational journey.

Guideline #1:  Privacy is not always private…be aware of what you share!

There is a glaring misconception within our middle school population (and probably most middle school populations) that when you post something on the internet it is only going to go to the people that know you.  The alternative is simple- Be smart with what and to whom you share information.

1.  Do not accept friend requests or email messages from people that you don’t know or

haven’t talked to in person.

2.  Never, EVER, share your password to any of your online accounts. (Facebook, email, etc.)

3.  Set your privacy settings to a strict level to protect your information from strangers on the

internet.

For more information on Online Privacy go here:  http://www.edudemic.com/online-privacy-guide/

Guidline #2:  “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” Newton’s 3rd Law

Consider your actions online something of a chain.  This chain is linked to you the moment that you start joining networks or emails online.  Every action that you take online from searches, or games, to harmful posts and pictures making fun of someone else, will stick with you forever.  It is very possible that inappropriate content that you post to the internet could come back to affect your future.  College administrators and future employers might stumble across comments or pictures that you posted when you were in high school.  They might find this information offensive and not allow you into their institution or the job that you always wanted.  Beware that all information online is open to everyone and sometimes it can affect your future greatly.

For more information on your digital footprint go here: http://www.edudemic.com/your-digital-footprint/

Guideline #3:  Stand Up for what is right!

Think about what you are using these computers for.  There are strict guidelines in each of your classes about which websites you should be using.  If you see someone on an inappropriate website or postin inappropriate material, report it.  This includes bullying other students!  If everyone works to clean up the web and hold each other accountable, there is no way we will be overcome with the negative information that can be on the web.

Here is more information on cyber-bullying and it’s effects: http://www.edudemic.com/cyberbullying/

Guideline #4:  You are not alone-Communicate with your teacher

Sometimes being online can feel individual.  There are feelings that you are the only one struggling with certain websites, that you are the only one who is being bullied, or the only one who doesn’t know how to use different tools required for our class.  Please come and talk to the teacher about what is going on.  The first goal for all of your teachers is that you are safe and understand the information that we are sharing with you.

For more information about communicating with your teacher go here:

http://www.edudemic.com/7-survival-skills-modern-teachers-students/

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Multimedia in the Classroom (Vlog)

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