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It means choosing, reflecting on, appreciating, responding appropriately to, and producing media of all kinds. For example, media-literate students understand the motivations behind television commercials and can judge the merits of the product despite the persuasive techniques employed by advertisers.
A great source for media literacy information is the Media Awareness Network at. Clearly, these literacies are tightly linked to the learning goals, and student achievement in these areas provides lifelong benefits. These literacies are integrated, even where not specifically mentioned, throughout the activities and ideas in this text. Another benefit of student technology use is a change in how learning occurs in classrooms. If we think about how children learn at home and in the world, we can see that there is a disconnect between natural learning and classroom learning.
Outside of school, children are encouraged to explore, to inquire, to experiment, and to come to their own conclusions with the help of adults and peers. In classrooms, children are often asked to listen, memorize, and not to question. Technology use can make it more possible for students to learn in ways that resemble natural learning by providing resources, support, and feedback that teachers alone may not be able to pro- vide. Of course, technology will not have these benefits if it is not used in ways that support this vision of learning.
As a number of scholars have noted, just because you can do something with technology does not mean that you should. The goal is to make the technology use itself transparent, while examining the interactions, content, and process of the learning that occurs with technology. As a technology-using teacher, you are central to meeting the goals of technology-supported learning. Office of Educational Technology, To support learning with technology effectively, teachers must learn how to integrate technology into effective learning tasks and understand what their roles are during the technology-supported learning process.
It also provides insights into teacher roles that effectively support learning with technology. Characteristics of Effective Learning Tasks. In general, effective student tasks are those that result in authentic, meaningful, engaged learning. For a technology-supported task to be effective in this sense, it should have these general characteristics:.
Although some teachers continue to work within a curriculum in which teaching is central and pencil and paper the norm, the trend is toward goal-centered and student-centered curricula in which student learning, supported by technology, is focal. Challenges for Teachers.
Teachers using technology may face environmental, physical, attitudinal and philosophical, access, equity, cultural, financial, legal, and other obstacles. These challenges are presented in every chapter and discussed in depth in chapter 9. One challenge that teachers often voice is the idea that computers will put them out of a job. But there are many things that teachers can do that technology cannot.
As important as understanding what technology cannot do is understanding what it can. How do teachers help it do this? Teachers can treat technology as the tool that it is and integrate its use into every content area. In addition, instead of teaching one or more technologies as the goal or, if necessary, in addition to , teachers can employ technology to meet curricular goals in all areas.
Some teachers fear, often rightly, that technology learning may take the place of content learning and that the curriculum will not be covered. Teachers often do not understand at first how to balance technology and content and worry that there is not enough time to learn the technology they need.
In these cases, teachers often stop using technology to focus on content, use only one technology repeatedly, or just. But it does not need to be this way. Chapters 8 and 10 address these issues. In addition, the Guidelines section in each chapter supports teachers in understanding the roles of technology in classroom learning and how they might plan their learning about technology. In each chapter, the Guidelines provide practical suggestions for teachers to help meet learning goals and overcome potential barriers.
In this chapter, the guidelines present general issues to help you meet goals for technology use.
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These guidelines are summarized in Figure 1. Guideline 1: Understand the realities of technology use. In addition to understanding what technology can and cannot do, there are other significant realities that teachers need to understand. For example, learning to use technology well takes time—for everyone to learn, for effective uses to be discovered, and for implementation to be complete. Learning technology will not always be smooth, but help is available from members of the school community, including parents, technology specialists, knowledgeable students, and other teachers. This text and the accompanying Teacher Toolbox will help you to explore and find additional technology resources by presenting a variety of Web sites, software packages, and support information and by suggesting places to look for further ideas and information.
This text will also encourage you to share your findings with other educators. Guideline 2: Examine equity and access for your students. Loschert reported 15 years ago that, although the average school had over computers, each student typically had only 20 minutes per week on the computer. If everyone is to learn with these tools, everyone must be able to access them.
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Other chapters in this text provide ways to arrange and use technology to make access more equitable; these include making the best use of classroom computers and creating arrangements to share technology equitably and effectively within schools. Guideline 3: Consider student differences. Students bring skills and backgrounds that can add to or detract from technology-enhanced learning experiences. Teachers can assess student needs by first investigating their learning preferences, cultural and language differences, and background experiences and knowledge.
Teachers can then address these needs by applying the techniques and strategies presented throughout this and other texts. These techniques include, for example, using content resources at multiple levels, giving students choice in the products they develop, and providing extra support for students who need it. In addition to specific instructional strategies, computer technologies can also help address the needs of diverse students and help to include students with a variety of abilities in classroom tasks.
For example, special technologies called assistive devices can help teachers to provide larger text for sight-impaired students, voice recognition for students with physical disabilities, and extra wait time, feedback, or practice for those who need it. Assistive devices are presented later in this chapter and throughout the text. Technology can also provide support for English language learners ELLs and other students by providing resources in a variety of languages and many different ways to work Egbert, , from supportive team-based software to individual remediation Web sites.
Suggestions for supporting the learning of ELLs with technology are noted throughout the text. The Learning Activities section in each chapter presents suggestions and examples to use as models to effectively use technology. In this chapter, you will read real-life educational technology uses taken directly from school reports. These examples provide an initial idea of effective ways that technology is being applied in classrooms.
The technology uses in the examples below, from the first decade of the 21st century, could still be considered innovative at the end of the second decade; this is one indication not only of how slowly technology uses have made their way into classrooms but also how much teacher professional development in uses of educational technology is still needed so that all teachers can integrate technology effectively, like the teachers below:. Elaine Insinnia, an eighth-grade language arts teacher from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, uses Internet research to help her students understand the novels she assigns.
The project also teaches students how to evaluate the validity of information they find on the Web. After they complete their research, students share their findings in an online chat room [a Web site that allows communication in real time]. Loschert, , n. Students find the programs so engaging that they watch their cartoons, and ones created by their classmates, repeatedly. The process of creating the product and reviewing it reinforces the thought process students should use to solve the problems.
By carrying a digital camera and a small computer, Jane was able to communicate on a daily basis with Kristi and her students. Learning Point Associates, In a challenge described by FermiLab LInC , seventh-grade students will be challenged to develop a schoolwide recycling program. The challenge will be for everyone, students, teachers, administrators and especially the cafeteria and lunch program, to recycle waste products.
Students will form teams to investigate waste and waste management. They will also contact other schools throughout the country via email and collect data on school recycling programs. Do they exist? How are they managed? What percentage of waste has to be hauled away? What are the costs for running such a program? The teams will be encouraged to develop a Total School Recycle Program to either internally handle waste or to find resources that will productively utilize waste products.
This will involve investigating the means of disposing or recycling all the waste generated from their school building. Can it be done? FermiLab LInC, All of these examples are adaptable for a variety of grade levels and students and can make use of a variety of different technologies. More important, they demonstrate effective task characteristics and focus on 21st- century learning goals such as critical thinking and problem-solving. The technology is employed as support for effective student learning. This learning focus is important because technology changes so rapidly.
In fact, even by the time you finish reading this text, much of the technology mentioned in it may be in a new version, may have a new format, or may be obsolete entirely. However, having a firm grounding in the learning goals that will continue to be essential—for example, critical thinking, problem solving, content, and communication—means that teachers and students will be able to continue to integrate technology, deal with change, and work toward success.
Technology for Supporting Learning. Each chapter in this text presents a variety of technologies that can be used to support learning. This first chapter presents a general overview of technology for reference at any time during your reading of the text. It focuses on a basic understanding of educational technology that includes awareness of the components of any tool. Components of Electronic Tools.
Electronic tools generally consist of hardware , software , and connection components. Table 1. For hardware, the three main types are input, processing, and output. Input devices are used to enter information into the computer. Output devices display or deliver the information in a format that users can understand. Processing devices change the input into output. There are also communication devices that connect computers to each other.
The components listed in the table will also be mentioned in other chapters in this text. Software is composed of a set of instructions that controls the operation of a computer. The most important software is the operating system , or OS. The OS manages the rest of the soft- ware on the computer. Typically software is developed for one OS or platform , either Macintosh OS or Windows, but some software can run on these and other less common operating systems such as Unix and Linux. Find tutorials for these common operating systems by searching the Web. Information about types of software, software functions, and parts of a software package is presented in Table 1.
These terms are used throughout this text. Connection components, some of which are technically hardware e. A short list of important components is presented in Table 1. Assistive Technologies. This text addresses supporting learning with technology for students with a wide range of abilities, skills, and needs.
In some instances, the choice of resource or student role in an activity will be enough to help students access academic content. In other cases special technologies, called assistive devices, will be needed for students to access the information they need. In general, assistive devices are hardware and software designed for specific needs. In addition, the Microsoft www. The benefits of access to technology for students with disabilities include:.
Teachers need to understand why and how to use assistive technologies to help students effectively. For example, teachers may not think about how students with different abilities will access information from the Web. For students who are visually impaired or physically challenged, access is an important issue.
Simple solutions to access problems range from making the text in the Web browser bigger so that sight-impaired students can see it to providing a special large mouse that needs only a light touch to work. For ways to make the Web more accessible to all students, see www. Appropriate Tool Use. Most important to understand in the discussion of technological tools is that if the tool does not make the task more effective or more efficient, a different tool should be employed. In addition, if there is no appropriate digital technology that fits the task, digital technology should not be used.
For example, asking first graders to type sentences on the computer might be fun for them, but teachers need to evaluate whether the time students spend hunting for the correct keys and making editing mistakes might be better spent with a pencil or crayons. Or, setting ninth graders free on the Internet to research famous Americans might result in chaos that could better be organized by employing a more manageable information set in a digital encyclopedia.
This theme of principled technology use is repeated throughout the text. Each chapter in this text presents ways to appropriately assess student progress toward learning goals. Most important in the discussions of assessment is that both the product of student learning and the process of student learning are the foci of assessment. In the examples given throughout this text, technology is the focus of assessment for example, did students use it well?
However, it is important that assessments fit the specific context and students for whom they are developed. Therefore, note that the assessments in this text only serve as models. They probably cannot be used without at least some adaptations to fit specific classroom, task, and student conditions. For example, a rubric, or detailed scoring outline, that is made to evaluate a technology-supported presentation for fifth graders is most likely inappropriate to evaluate a presentation by 10th-grade students.
The text addresses a number of assessments, including:. These assessments can be used in a variety of contexts other than those described in the chapters. As you move on to the rest of this text, keep in mind the underlying premise of this chapter, that learning comes before technology. Be sure to review ideas in the chapter as needed and to use the glossary of terms and table data to support your learning throughout the text. Below are comments from teachers that relate to the content of this chapter. Theory and Practice. Our questions and frustrations reminded me of the three main theories which exist… The first is the behaviorist: [learning] is acquired through imitation, direct instruction, practicing through drills, memorization, etc.
The second is innatist: [learning] is acquired naturally, just by listening to it and being immersed in an authentic environment. No direct instruction or correction is needed.
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The last is interactionist, which says that [learning] is acquired naturally, but it stresses the interaction portion, and also says that sometimes it is necessary to teach specific rules or correct student output. These are coming from the experts and it seems to me that perhaps pieces from each are true. I doubt any one theory could ever explain how every unique individual will learn.
I think there is a time and a place for flashcards and memorization, but I think it is also crucial to have meaningful interaction. Jennie, first-grade teacher. Learning Focus. No matter what tools we use, we need to use good teaching practices, or our teaching will be ineffective. Susan, fifth-grade teacher. I completely agree with this because it is important to keep in mind as technology continues advancing. This is why I feel that we need to rely on the content of our lessons in incorporating technology rather than using technology just because it will be fun when the activity itself might be better without it.
Learning occurs best when it is driven by the human processes, not the technology.
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When this occurs, students are involved in their learning through negotiation of meaning with one another and are focused on the content of the project. Cammie, student teacher. Teacher Concerns. First, district and state will need to support technology growth and use in the classrooms with monies for technical support: training, maintenance, wiring. Second, respect for equipment needs to be taught to students and families now, if a student misplaces a book, parents may or may not pay. Thirdly, as professionals we educators will need to embrace the new technology.
I am ready! Jean, sixth-grade teacher.
I also wonder how much the role of teachers will change as technology advances. I even applied for a tutoring job with [a company where] you tutor online with a digital pencil and headset! Pretty crazy. Also, if we can listen and learn from history. For example, when the radio, TV, and mainframe computer came out, they were all expected to change the entire educational scene, but in reality, the changes were minute. From my reading, educational technology researchers always warn not to get overly excited about the future of technology based on history.
I see [the] point about finding the purpose of assessment before deciding what type is more appropriate. For example, when we test our students in our building, we know certain students with extra barriers language, attention span, etc. So, teachers decide to give them the computer assessment! Andrea, third-grade teacher. Key Points. Each chapter in this text includes a Key Points Review that summarizes chapter ideas. Technology is a tool that teachers can use to support learning, but learning must be foremost.
If teachers do not understand how to support learning, technology use will be ineffective and inefficient. The integration of content area and technology standards, along with standards for English language learners, results in six 21st-century skills that can serve as learning goals in the creation of technology-supported learning tasks:.
Pencils, chalkboards, and overhead projectors are all educational technologies. Hardware, software, and connection are the main components of electronic technologies. Specific applications of these components can determine whether students can access the content and demonstrate their skills. There are many ways to assess student learning in every classroom. This idea does not change when technology is integrated, but technology use can make assessment easier and more effective.
Evaluating lessons according to criteria for effective technology-supported learning can help you provide instruction that is accessible, engaging, and useful for all students in your classroom. Aaronsohn, E. The exceptional teacher. Information power: Building partnerships for learning. Chicago: Author. ALA Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.
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