Thursday, February 23, 2012

Module 6 - Philosophy of Learning

Technology has had a profound impact on the way I learn. I started with online learning through a blended masters program. Halfway through the program I became ill and switched to a fully online program. While on bed rest I was able to continue my studies. For me, learning online is the best way for me to learn. I do gain adequate knowledge from face-to-face professional development, but I get so much more out of finding knowledge online for myself, through blogs, wiki’s, and videos. I also believe collaborating online or taking part in discussions provides me with new knowledge or gives me a new perspective on something I am currently learning.

I believe that the use of technology is critical and non-negotiable in teaching and learning. Regardless of the technology that is available in schools, teachers need to take the time to learn how to use the technology available to them and implement technology into their instruction. The lives of students today, whether primary grade students or college seniors, is filled with technology; educators need to take a step forward and stay ahead of the students or at least stay on the same page as students when it comes to using technology. Personally, I strive daily to learn something new to stay ahead.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Module 5 - New Technologies

Based on Keller’s ARCS model (2005) an analysis of the teachers in the organization indicated that their attention was initially low, relevance was initially low, confidence initially low and possibly variable and satisfaction was moderate.

I have been trying to encourage my teammates as well as my co-workers to use the Promethean board and smart board with their class. I have set up training, where I brought in district personnel to teach the educators how to use both interactive whiteboards. Additionally, the district technology instructor offered to come back and do one on one instruction with the teachers as well as plan a lesson and demonstrate how to do a lesson with the class. Initially, there appeared to be a lack of interest. Some teachers came to the workshops, but never used the Promethean Boards, citing they did not know how to create flipcharts or how to effectively use the board. Others felt that they did not need to learn something new.

To gain the attention of the teachers I would ask administration to utilize the interactive whiteboards during faculty meetings. Relevance can be demonstrated at a faculty meeting to show how interactive whiteboards can be used in the classrooms with all learners and provide differentiated instruction and whole group interactive activities.

Confidence can be gained by having small learning communities where teachers could help each other with using the new technology. I would survey the teachers utilizing a SWOT Analysis, then pair up the teachers based on that information. Teachers could meet monthly to exchange ideas and work in a comfortable environment with each other creating or adapting flip charts and notebooks.

I would also advise the teachers of resources like Promethean Planet and the district server space, where teachers upload completed flipcharts that can be used for the subjects that they are currently teaching and are aligned with the standards that they are using. They simply need to use the new technology and not have to create anything.

Satisfaction can be demonstrated on a monthly basis among the learning communities and a demonstration or mini workshop during a faculty meeting by a learning community.

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.