I had chosen for my goal to strengthen two of the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S). The two standards were to use technology to provide thinking that is more critical and problem solving in addition to providing more opportunities for my students to demonstrate creativity and innovation using technology (National Education Standards for Teachers, 2009). I understood the content knowledge and I understood the uses of technology. My challenge was to overcome how to integrate the two areas together. As I met this goal, my students now have the opportunity to be able to self-direct their learning while they solve a problem of interest to them and create a digital product that displays their learning process. These skills are teaching my students how to be critical thinkers of information and how to apply what they have mastered. These skills are preparing my students for jobs of the 21st century.
According to Dr. Ross, it is an educator’s responsibility to provide students with access to the curriculum (Laureate Education, 2009). Children learn differently using various modalities and we as teachers need to find avenues for students to utilize and maximize learning opportunities. My GAME Plan focused on integrating more inquiry-based lessons using technology into instruction. I had chosen to focus on this because I wanted my students to maximize their learning of content and 21st century skills. As I completed my plan during the course, I realized the opportunities that technology created in inquiry-based lessons. By using technology, I was able to build in levels of rigor and scaffolds to support different learning modalities and levels of learning. It took me a lot of time and thought to create the unit but now I have it to use in all of my classes. I learned that creating these types of lessons require more research and time on the front end but will have great benefits for my students in the long run.
As an instructional coach for my district, I am making some immediate adjustments regarding technology integration into content areas. I am asking the computer teachers to teach our students how to use blogs, wiki spaces, podcasts, Voice Thread etc. using content from core subjects. My hope is that as the students learn how to use these applications, content area teachers will be more comfortable allowing students to use them as a learning tool in the classroom. Due to time constraints, it is difficult for teachers to teach the applications and the content. With my plan, computer classes and content areas are horizontally aligning to provide maximum learning opportunities in academics and in 21st century skills.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Integrating Technology Across the Content Areas. Baltimore: Author.
National Education Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/ 2008Standards/NETS_T_Standards_Final.pdf