Where am I with technology in my classroom?
I am in the Proficient Phase as described in Cennamo, Ross, Ertmer, 2010, p.21. I use a variety of technology-based resources to engage students in learning experiences. My classroom is equipped with a computer, eBeam, DVD player and a Flip camera. In the school there are two laptop carts equipped with Macbook laptops, a color printer and a wireless router. I am trying more and more to include technology in my lesson plans, but I feel limited by the proficiency of my students in Spanish. I only see them twice a week for 30 minutes, and this is not enough to develop independent Spanish speakers.
Where do I want to go with technology in my classroom?
I would like to progress to the Transformative Phase (Cennamo et al., 2010, p.21) where I engage with students to explore effective ways in which they can plan, manage and evaluate their learning experiences. Professionaly I would like to become a tech support person for my school, I want to be able to use all the 21st century technology (like Siftables, IPads, clickers, cell phones) to increase students’ participation, creativity and independent thinking.
What are my top 10 elements of a 21st Century Classroom?
Based on Tech & Learning (www.techlearning.com/K12/Fundamentals), my top 10 elements of a 21st Century Classroom are:
- Emerging content areas such as global awareness;
- Learning and thinking skills that include critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, creativity and innovation, collaboration, and media literacy;
- Using technology in the context of learning so students know how to learn;
- Life skills: leadership, ethics, accountability, personal responsibility, self-direction;
- Authentic assessment that measures all areas of learning;
- Introduction of new tools: individual notebooks, table PCs, IPods, IPads;
- A learning space that encourages collaboration and cooperation;
- Project-based learning;
- Formative assessment;
- Differentiated instruction that adjusts learning activities to address varied learning styles.
What kind of learning environment do I want to create for my students?
I want to create a learning environment that incorporates the top ten elements that I mentioned above. My ideal classroom would address the issues mentioned in the video A Vision of 21st Century Teachers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4g5M06YyVw). Students would be independent learners working cooperatively to create projects that reflect their thinking and problem solving skills and that reflect their learning. They would learn to be creative, independent and self-directed.
What resources do I have to help me create the learning environment?
This Master’s program has been an invaluable source of ideas, tools and techniques. The technology coordinator and other colleagues at my school are also a valuable resource. The internet and library are a good place to find relevant information.
Comments on 21st Century Classroom:
I agree with Alan November’s video “Who Owns the Learning” (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=929307666112123725#) that we are not teaching students to be successful in the modern world. The more affluent private schools maybe doing mor etowards that goal, but poor, inner city public schools and even middle-class suburban public schools are being hand-tied by the No Child left Behind Law that forces teachers to teach the test, taking away from the daily learning most traces of creativity, group work and differentiation.
The youtube videos were interesting although there are some facts that I don’t find too relevant for us. Comparing our country to China delivers a very emotional punch to our competitive side, but in my opinion, does not really matter. Our cultures are very different, the way we learn is different. I don’t think the parents of my students would be very happy if teachers started treating children the way they are raised in China. Chinese people, as well as in many other countries in the world, are compelled to learn English for a variety of reasons. In Argentina, even kids in slums know some English to understand songs and videos.
I enjoyed the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9-4wb6aK_k&p=0D049DD3DDFF63C1&index=1&playnext=2 . I completely agree with th eopinions of the deans and leaders about the future of education. I felt it was very accurate when one of the said that to be able to teach 21st Century skills, teachers must have them first. That is one of the main challenges we are facing now in our school. Teachers who do not feel comfortable with the advances of technology are being asked to “think outside the box” I believe that for future generations of teachers this will be much easier. For us it is so hard because we were the generation that grew up with pencil and paper and need to teach with computers and IPods!