Goal 6: Make appropriate use of educational technology.


We live in a society where technology is a way of life. It is no longer only used in the workplace, but rather it is used continuously in the private lives of students, parents, and teachers. Technology continues to evolve and take new forms every day. Students today communicate through technology and have the world at their fingertips. Students are able to receive and send information about a specific topic in a matter of seconds. Technology has not only become a tool in today’s society, it has become a lifestyle and with that comes a learning curve for educators.

As educators, it is our responsibility to embrace and utilize the technology that students are using today. Technology is not going away and students will be expected to know how to use it appropriately. Students embrace technology, but really don’t know how it can be used for learning. The students are great at playing games, but they become lost when it comes to using technology as a tool. There are lessons and videos over almost any topic they want to learn about, but many times the students struggle with how to sort through all the information and use it appropriately. It is our responsibility to learn and grow in our technology skills so that we may help the students learn how to best utilize the powerful tools in front of them.

Technology can provide an environment where students interact and collaborate with each other. As educators, we need to be flexible and creative in order to utilize these technologies appropriately. We can’t use technology to just say we use it. When we use it, we need to make sure there is meaning and purpose. Many times concepts in the classroom can be taught without technology, but technology can add to it. It can change and enhance the learning environment. Technology can transform a classroom from a teacher centered classroom to a classroom of collaboration and exploration. I use technology in my classroom almost every day and I have discovered that I am no longer a teacher in the front of the room, but rather a facilitator of learning. Technology is a tool, and if used correctly it can provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning.

Artifact 1

This artifact is a research paper covering computer assisted instruction in the math classroom. I did this research paper because I wanted to know if the various ways of using technology in the math classroom provide significant gains in student achievement. This research paper discusses the pros and cons of using technology along with a few different ways of how to use technology in a math classroom. It also provides the answer to the question of “Does technology really improve student achievement, or would it be just as beneficial if technology wasn’t part of the classroom?” This artifact stressed the notion that there are many options available when using technology, but it must be used appropriately in order to benefit the student.

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Artifact 2

This artifact is a power point presentation used as a Jeopardy review game in my pre-algebra class. This is used in my classroom to help give the students a variety and to allow them to interact and collaborate with each other. This jeopardy game was a downloadable template created by Don Link. I came across it one day as I was researching various activities that I could use in class. All I had to do was put in my own content. This review game could have been played in the classroom without the use of technology, but the sounds and design of the game, added to the experience. This artifact also demonstrates that the World Wide Web can be a resource for many great ideas and activities for the classroom.

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Artifact 3

This artifact is a video of an algebra lesson that my students watched for homework. I make a video of all my lessons and post them to our eighth grade website. I use Camtasia Studio to make all the videos that I post. I realize that students today are almost always connected to the World Wide Web. They are watching videos on YouTube and other websites out there. I wanted to use this technology and allow the students to watch their math lessons on their own time instead of spending most of the class time watching me present a lesson. These lessons could easily be done without using technology, but by using this technology, the students and I have more time to interact one-on-one during class time. I also have more time to help them individually on any problems that they may have.

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Artifact 4

This artifact is a video presentation of how I use Google docs to communicate with other teachers and educators. I chose to include this presentation because this is a piece of technology that I use on a daily basis. It helps me communicate with other teachers and staff members. A Google doc is a live document that allows everyone to update it at the same time. It is helpful and saves time because then the people involved don’t have to keep resending their updates by email. Our eighth grade math teachers and student case managers use Google docs to keep everyone updated on a student’s progress. This technology allows for that constant communication which helps students succeed.

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Artifact 5

This artifact is a movie trailer that the eighth grade math teachers created at the beginning of the school year to show our students. This trailer was designed to introduce ourselves to the students and communicate with them that they can go to any math teacher for help. We wanted to show the students that we were on a quest for math. This was also the first time that we made a movie trailer using the iPad and we wanted to test it out to determine if students could use this on any future projects. We didn’t have to use a movie trailer to introduce ourselves, but it added some entertainment and fun to our introductions on the first day of school.

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Artifact 6

This artifact is a presentation of how I use polleverywhere.com in the classroom to quiz students as bell ringers or closure activities. I don’t use this website every day, but sometimes it adds to the class and engages the students more than just writing answers on a piece of paper. This program allows the students to text their answer and it shows up on the computer in live time. It also allows me to see how many students respond to my question. The answers are completely anonymous and students don’t know who answered what. As they are answering, the responses are put into a bar graph and the students can see how the graph changes as other students submit their responses. I have seen increased student involvement in these activities since I started using this website.

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