Saturday, January 31, 2009

DR. G

These are some educational links that I have come across and find them to be good.  Solely my opinion, of course.

Instructional Technology in the Classroom

In working on a paper for my doctorate degree, in my technology class, I spent hours reading and writing about technology. I had to comment on the topic Technology and Students. These are my thoughts...

Instructional technology, in my opinion, is when one integrates technology such as computers, overhead projectors, scanners, printer, and other computer related games in their teaching practice to support student learning. When one uses technology such as desktop computers, laptops, overhead projectors, smartboards, CD programs, interactive medias, teleconferences, instant messages, and more, to enhance students learning in the classroom or as an instructional tool, hence, (IT) Instructional Technology is being utilized in the classroom. As computers are used successfully in the classroom, they become an effective IT tool.

Computers do change the classroom environment. It changes the way we see the world. According to Engelbart (Provenzo, Jr. et al., 2005) we can create simulations of how things are, were, or could be. We can manipulate and organize our word processing projects in many ways; we can begin from the start and end where we want. We can rearrange and reorganize as much as we like until we get the final products the way we like it.

Learning and teaching has changed since computers and technologies have been introduced into the classroom. As a tutor, the computer functions as a traditional teaching tool or similar to traditional learning tools (Provenzo, Jr. et al., 2005). It also functions to lead students through drills and practices and improving their skills; it helps with memorization of lessons; and it provides practices with simulated problem-solving activities, focusing on students' comprehension skills.

“As a tool, the computer is used by the student as a word processor, database manager, spreadsheet, a graphics design system, or as a link to an informational resource like the internet; and finally, as a tutee, the computer is programmed by the students to perform specific operations and tasks” (Provenzo, Jr. et al., p. 30). Before IT, teachers relied on using workbooks, making Xerox copies, and creating their own manipulative for students to complete for in-class assignments. It took plent of time for teachers to prepare progressive lesson plans, and it took plenty of time for them to prepare enrichment activities for students to work on.

Provenzo, Jr. et al., (2005, p. 55) argues that Douglas C. Engelbart (1963) “postulated that the computer can ‘augment,’ or enhance, the intelligence of its users. He described this process as ‘augmenting man’s intellect’”. Douglas C. Engelbart wrote, (p. 55) “By ‘augmenting man’s intellect’ we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems”. According to Engelbart, (2005) computers facilitated ones learning and understanding, while producing better solutions to problems. Furthermore, computers make it possible for one to obtain accurate responses.

Furthermore, in this generation, while students work with the programs whether for individual, small groups, or large group activities, teachers can spend more time working with individual students who would benefit from one-on-one personalized help. Advanced students can work on activities as enrichment.

The use of instructional technology varies with each teacher and student. Students will receive and accept the technology according to how the teacher presents it and uses it in the class. Both students and teachers benefit from the use of (IT) Instruction Technology.

In the end, the students must be the one who totally benefit from this new technology. This technology will become a part of the student’s paradigm —technology is today’s way of life—. For this to become the students’ paradigm, teachers must be willing to accept the change that is occurring and help find alternative ways to integrate technology into their daily lessons and class routine, —such as having students use the computer to answer research questions in History class, find ways to manipulate ones composition in English class, and find various ways, or find graphs, to respond to a mathematical or scientific question in either their Math or Science classes— this way, the learning experience is meaningful for the learner.

Please Post your comments.

References
McCain, T., & Jukes, I. (2001). Windows on the Future. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Provenzo, E. F., Jr., Brett, A., & McCloskey, G. N., OSA (2005). Computers, Curriculum, and Cultural Change. An Introduction for Teachers, Second Edition. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Computers Play A Critical Role In Education Today

Computers play a critical role in education today because of society’s mindset of what lies ahead for our children’s future. Our paradigm is shifting, so the students must be prepared for that shift. According to Engelbart, (1963) (Provenzo, Jr., Brett, & McCloskey, OSA, 2005) computers can augment or enhance the intelligence of its users and facilitate ones learning and understanding, producing better solutions to problems and making accurate responses possible.

Technology is lacking in this system because it has been doubling every 18 months and has been doing so for 40 years (McCain & Juke, 2001). As teachers, we should involve our students with utilizing the computer beyond the use of observing teacher made PowerPoint in the class; the students should learn how to make their own; they should know how to create their own databases and use the word processor accurately. The problem, however, does not lie with the teachers, it lies with the system. Because of this doubling process, integrating this technology into the classroom activities is difficult. But when we manage to do so, teachers must create and develop activities that will help students in developing their critical thinking skills while manipulating the computer programs.

Computers are under-represented by schools’ administrators. They want teachers to integrate the technology in their instructions; however, it does not allow access to certain educational sites for fear of the unknown. In addition, parents are given the choice to choose whether their child can use the computer in school; and, some choose that their child do not use them.

Computers are over-represented because, like everything else, administrators’ uniformly plunged into the technology bandwagon. And, once they have introduced it, they don’t know what to do with it and teachers are left to impliment the use of it. Not to speak poorly of the administrations, I do believe that they are doing what they can with what they have. The problem again is obtaining appropriate software and sufficient time in our test taking agenda to make good use of the new technology. Computers have infiltrated our learning arena and play a unique role in our education today. There are endless resources available to students via the use of computers. However, students need access to them. As teachers, we are still charting the possibilities. Teachers still have to find ways to infuse technology in the classroom without raising special attention to it. Children love the use of the computer; they spend more time on it and forget that they are learning or undergoing a learning process.

The use of computers is underrated in most schools. As time moves forward and everyone is on the same page, we, as educators, will employ the use of computers into the classroom that will enable the students to be successful both in school and in society.

Please post your comments.

Reference
Provenzo, E. F., Jr., Brett, A., & McCloskey, G. N., OSA (2005). Computers, Curriculum, and
Cultural Change. An Introduction for Teachers, Second Edition. Mahwah, New Jersey:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Changes in the Learning Environment

I have been reading "Windows on the Future" by McCain & Juke (2001) for my class, and I found this information to be almost inspiring. They state that in a high-technology global market such as ours, “a nation’s ability to compete rests solely on the skill and dedication of its citizens” (p.67). A nation’s success rest on many factors; but, if we are not skilled in technology, this nation is at risk. “We must all see that education is the key to the future” (67). The globalization of technology has changed the way we work and interact with our working environment; however, with this technological fusion, “… personal computing power for the masses will transform learning and education in much the same way as it is transforming the way we work and play” (p.68).

What are we educators going to do now? Our educational system cannot remain as it has been in the past. It must change with the changes in time. The students have changed; their paradigm has changed. “In the face of this unbelievable technological upheaval, it is understandable that educators are struggling for answers” (p.68). For this reason, those in charge of education must face the question. What can we do to keep abreast of the current situation? Despite the queries, and rhetorical as they are, the educational system retains its old paradigm. So, if we are to survive in this world and prepare our students for the future, those involved in making the rule for education must change their paradigm now.


Change is inevitable and time is something we do not have. "If education hopes to meet [this] challenge, in preparing the students of today for the world of tomorrow, [it must change its paradigm]…and move ahead rapidly to embrace the new paradigm of constant and accelerating change” (p71).

Please post your comments.

Is technology affecting your teaching environment?