Technology has flipped the entire world and with this change education is no longer boring and monotonous. With the integration of technology, education has become very interesting due to changing patterns in curriculum and teaching methods. During the 2011-2012 school year, 6th graders had an experience with 1:1 laptops and available to all grades were 2 carts of iPads, which were in high demand all the time. This school year we have launched iPads 1:1 and have had a successful 8 weeks of implementation in the Middle School with this method of educational technology. There are many applications through which teachers can get connected with their students whenever and wherever and vice versa. Classrooms can be more interactive and teachers can flip their class and what a learning experience it is!
Also this school year was the introduction of two major Software’s (Veracross and Gmail) in addition to the implementation of iPads. At times, MS IT was overwhelmed with all these various changes. What makes me more confident and areas where I see myself growing is learning new things and having a vision of how connectivism has transformed technology implementation and taken it to the next level. I can see my school is growing and can see myself growing as well with the increasing quality of our educational programs. Educational technology plays a very important role in our development. The Internet also challenges us to change our role as educators and the way we teach curriculum to make the most of it with changes happening rapidly within the last few years. We have gone from white boards and books to a more web based learning approach. Teachers and students are able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to and the technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based. Another added bonus is the availability of students to work collaboratively. The work is becoming increasingly collaborative with an abundance of resources which are Internet based.
“Digital Citizenship[h1] is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know in order to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology, but one is often not sure what to do. The issue is more than what the users do not know but what is considered appropriate technology usage.
I really liked the Rich Kiker’s 5 ideas about how to create a successful connected environment for learning. LMS (Learning Management Systems are basically online classrooms. It really fits in with the iPad program at the middle school where the teachers are able to create classroom with a web presence and it enhances accessibility to the curriculum. LMS will improve classroom organization, help students when they miss class, build digital literacy and add many more benefits like dropbox, cloud, wordpress, netvibes , Gmail, Google docs, to name a few.
There are a few educationalists that are afraid of technology and think something major will happen if they do something wrong. I think this statement by Rich Kiker’s would boost their morale and increase their confidence in technology and allow them to overcome their fear of technology “This stuff is new to me and I don’t know it all. But I am excited to learn it and I know that it empowers you as learners. Therefore, I am willing to embrace technology because I know it will make your education more valuable.” Digital Citizenship should be a regular component in your classroom and no matter what subject you are teaching, there is an opportunity to promote proper and meaningful use.
Since I am teaching multimedia and video production, both the classes require change every year to keep up with the ever evolving technology. We are using different software’s for making videos such as imovie and cyber link power director for making videos and audacity and garage band for sound files and then uploading them to YouTube. Once we upload them to YouTube then we put the code in our blogs to watch them online. Vimeo is also a good place to store and upload and put them into our blogs for viewing. The next advancement into Multimedia Production is going towards mobile apps for video ethnographers to record and annotate videos in the field. The app allows users to add edit, and delete text annotations displayed alongside the video footage (will see how it works). Gaming Technology is extremely innovative where learning can be channelized and connected to any node and I had never thought of gaming as an educational technology tool. Recently findings from many educationalists and various articles about Gaming have found that Games can be truly challenge based and are collaborative, they are especially appropriate for higher education. Sarah Smith Robbins, director of emerging technologies at the Indiana University at Bloomington states, “Games are absolutely the best way to learn,” “They are superior to any other instructional model.” My goal for this year will be finding more information about Multimedia online apps and integrating TPACK.
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By Gagan Soni