The birth of the Internet has changed the way we think, learn and live. Prensky describe a "digital native" as one that was born after the birth in 1983 (Prensky, 2001). That leaves me as a "digital immigrant." As a digital immigrant, I have found that I struggle to learn what comes natural to my students. During this course, I have learned new skills and how to tie them to content and learning in my classroom.
Over the past eight weeks, I have developed my technology skills. I have learned how to create and integrate the use of wikis and blogs into my personal life. A wiki space is a great place to organize Christmas wish lists for those distant relatives. Blogs are a great place to communicate thoughts and schedules for church. I have worked to develop the art of collaboration with my classmates as we completed assignments for this course. I have been able to build a network of resources with other teachers from other parts of the country. As I completed this course, I realized that my students are missing some of the experiences that I have encountered for the past eight weeks. "It wasn't until I fully understood how these technologies can facilitate global connections and conversations around my own passions, how they could help me create powerful learning networks and communities, that I was able to see what needed to change in terms of my curriculum and my teaching" (Richardson, 2009). My growth in technology use has fostered my desire to give my students the same enriching experiences that I have encountered in my personal life.
I will continue to grow my knowledge of technology with the intent of increasing student achievement. "Learning is what most adults will do in the 21st Century" (Trilling, 2005). My students were born into a digital society and are ready to be engaged in a classroom in ways that they understand. "Our students today are all native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet" (Prensky, 2001). I need to continue to be a lifelong learner of web 2.0 tools in the classroom. As I develop lessons for my students, I will collaborate with other teachers online, participate in webinars, and finish my master's degree to increase my knowledge and ease of these tools. As I prepare lessons, I will integrate these tools and link my content standards with those of NETS (Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students)to engage my "native speakers" so they can master content.
Within two years from now, I would like my classroom to be transformed into a 21st Century classroom. One of my goals is to knock down the walls of my classroom. My students will no longer be limited to the knowledge of a paper textbook. The last step of the scientific method is to communicate results. They will share with an audience that is much larger than the classroom their thoughts and results about science labs using a class blog. The students will defend and challenge their ideas. The use of blogs will create an environment where the students can become experts in a particular topic (Richardson, 2009). Students will have a greater resource for building knowledge while fostering higher-order thinking.
The second goal is to empower my students in their own learning. My students will create and maintain a class wiki space. They will work collaboratively to decide the relevance and correctness of the information being posted. "It's a very democratic process of knowledge creation" (Richardson, 2009). Students will be practicing the art of collaboration and "constructionism" (Laureate Education, 2008). The wiki space will be the final project of their collaborative efforts.
As the trend of technology increases in the world, my classroom needs to catch up with the times. My students need to be prepared for the future work place where collaboration and shared projects are required. "The playing field is being leveled" (Friedman, 2005) and my students need to learn in a way that engages them so that they can grow to become productive and competitive members in the workplace.
Friedman, T. (2005, April 3). It's a flat world, after all. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). 2008.Transforming the Classroom Part 1.[Motion picture]. Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. Baltimore: Author
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants, part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6).
Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students
Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Trilling, B. (2005). Towards learning societies and the global challenges for learning with ICT. TechForum. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/techlearning/pdf/events/techforum/ny05/