As I read the articles about technology integration and the importance of it in education, I am reminded of all the struggles that come with gaps in generation. I do not feel that I am an ancient teacher by any means, but I am Generation X – born from the Baby Boomers. I am teaching students from Generation Z. I come prepared to class with my suit and glasses, but as I lumber around with all the new technology, the kids see me similar to the lego above.
When asked to assess my level of technology integration my mind immediately went to the SAMR model that we read about. I believe that substitution and augmentation were a large part of my teaching process for the first 6 years of my role as an educator. It was not until the most recent 3 years of my career have I been able to move further up the ladder to modification. My goal is still redefinition, but I have a long way to go. The three phases of my teaching career are as follows: Cincinnati, Ohio; Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Seoul, South Korea.
My first 3 years of teaching I was at a public school in Cincinnati, Ohio where my tech integration consisted of movies that I would show on a VCR after reading the novel in class or using an overhead projector and placing transparencies up on the board to review Daily Oral Language. There were computers in the library that we could use on a weekly basis, but all work had to be saved on the school hard drive and during year 2 of teaching, all my research papers from one class were deleted from the school’s server. No lie.
Years 4 – 6 took place overseas at a private “American” school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The reason for the quotes on the word American is because 98% of the students were Bolivian but would recieve a US diploma upon graduation. With this school, there was a computer lab of 10 computers where my class size was usually 18 – 22. We had ONE Smart board in the school where we could sign out and go to the room to teach our class. I took some great professional development classes in Bolivia that dealt with technology, but really couldn’t apply them to my current place of employment.
Seoul, South Korea was the home of my teaching career for years 7, 8 and 9. During my first year every room was equipped with a Smart Board and some rooms had Apple TV connections. Year 2 was the year they rolled out the laptop 1-1 program in the middle school where I taught and also the year I started my CoETaIL program. In a mere 3 years I had used more applications and technology integration than I had used in all 9 years of teaching (see blog post Course 1 week 5 for a more detailed list of technology used)!
The integration has begun. It is a slow process, but a sure one!