Monthly Archives: June 2013
Preparing students for the 21st century workplace involves teaching and exposing students to various types of technology they will encounter. Students should feel comfortable being able to email, share documents, present information electronically, research online, etc. School districts are providing more and more technological resources in the form of computer labs, laptops, mobile devices, and so on.
Opening up the world wide web for students can open up a can of worms so to speak. How can we ensure that students are using the technology responsibly? One measure is to have a very clear and concise Acceptable Use Policy.
The National Education Association suggests that an effective AUP contain the following six key elements:
- a preamble,
- a definition section,
- a policy statement,
- an acceptable uses section,
- an unacceptable uses section, and
- a violations/sanctions section.
Students need to be aware that when using technology in a school, it needs to be specifically for school use only. Districts have the ability to track all computers history which helps alleviate some of the desire to roam throughout the internet. The key is to ensuring students use the internet properly is that they are TAUGHT specifically what it means to be a responsible user. Students need to be expected to uphold that behavior and if they don’t there are consistent and clear consequences.
At the beginning of every year, my school teaches a responsible computing portion of our freshman seminar course. This provides a means to present our guidelines to all students. Examples of poor behavior are given and the consequences that follow. Students are expected to treat others online as they would in person.
Some examples of AUP’s:
Can you imagine a world without smart phones or computers? Technology has increasingly become a more important part of our lives. Because of this, preparing students for the workplace has changed dramatically. We are immersed in a world where wikis, podcasts, blogs and moodles have become commonplace as a means to communicate. Integration of technology into the curriculum has become imperative to better prepare students for this new 21st century workplace.
Edutopia defines effective technology integration as “seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.”
How can technology integration help students?
Outside of school, students are presented and process information differently than in the past. Television and the internet have created a very multimedia rich world. Everything is much more dynamic and engaging.
Technology in the classroom can provide a much more engaging learning environment as well. Students are able to visualize concepts much more clearly with video and applets. They can take the basic knowledge that they learn and apply it to real world applications in a much easier way. Students are able to use virtual field trips and like activities to transport themselves to other parts of the world to gain a better understanding of the plight of others.
It also can aid students in providing multiple resources for learning. Computer based quizzes and clicker activities can provide instantaneous feedback allowing them to become more interactive and take ownership of their learning.
How can technology integration help teachers?
As mentioned above, our role as teachers has changed. It is still imperative that we teach students the basic skills needed to be successful in the world. However, it is also important that students leave high school feeling confident and comfortable with the different technologies and terminology they will encounter in the workplace.
According to the ICT (Roblyer, p 21) teachers are required to provide three sets of technological skills for students:
- Technology literacy: Students need to be able to adapt to new technology.
- Knowledge deepening: Students can take their prior knowledge to a new level utilizing technology.
- Knowledge creation: Students can create concepts being innovative using technology.
Technology adds so much to a teacher’s repertoire. It brings a lesson to life. In the past, we might have taught about the work of Shakespeare having students read and analyze his work. Today, we can have students create a video depicting the plot of a particular play. This is just one example that can assess a much higher level of understanding. In Geometry, students can use an interactive white board to manipulate a polygon to actually see that the measurement of the angles stay the same. Seeing it to be true is so much more valuable than just believing it is true because it was read in a textbook.
The sky is the limit when it comes to utilizing technology. We are teaching in an exciting time. Learning has become so much more comprehensive and dynamic. It is changing the culture of education for the better.
Doering, Aaron H., & Roblyer, M.D. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson
Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description