Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Understanding Educational Technology Issues and Trends

 Focus Question: Discuss reasons for using technology to engage students in learning.

        Students of today live in a world completely governed by technology. What student nowadays would rather search a book in a library when they could simply Google it? Thankfully many teachers understand that the rise of technology signals a change for their teaching styles, and they've begun to adapt to more technology based teachings. More and more teachers are using their smartphones for educational purposes, and the use of pod casts, online videos, and other forms of digital content is also on the rise among educators. Technology is a powerful way to motivate and engage students, and student engagement is a growing and perplexing problem in U.S. education today. Two thirds of High school students report feeling bored in class daily and more than half say they never discuss academic material outside of class.
        Technology is a tool that can change those and other statistics of students negativity and boredom. Lessons that incorporate technology are among the methods that students find most engaging. Any teacher who wants students to succeed, can use computers and other technologies to create different designs for learning. Technology fosters critical and creative thinking and problem based learning though use of online research, design programs, and other online learning games.
       Part of the challenge and excitement of being a teacher today lies in developing ways to make new technologies an integral part of classroom teaching and student learning. Students of today don't want to sit in class and listen to a teacher simply talk or write on a board, they need to be engaged and interested and technology is their vital tool. Examples of use of technology in the classroom are though vivid visual presentations and power points, online research projects, online learning games, and interviews and other videos that enhance the learning experience.

Connections and Possibilities:  TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design)
                    Students and teachers can now join the worlds top thinkers and researchers where they can share information and scientific ingenuity via the internet. TED talks gives us access to video presentations from annual conferences where hundreds of experts gathered to share ideas for the future. The list of TED speakers includes brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, musician Peter Gabriel, ocean explorer David Gallo, and other notables from the fields of technology, business, entertainment, science, design, global studies, culture, and the arts. It is a great resource with more that 1100 videos and various supporters who themselves create memorable and creative lessons with the use of this tool.

        Many students feel bored in classrooms today; they don't pay attention, they sleep, and they play around on cell phones. Students have even claimed that they dropped out of school because they found it so boring and meaningless. One way teachers have engaged students is through use of technology in the classroom. Technology creates many different learning formats that can engage students with academic material. From my perspective as a student, I am far more interested when technology has an influence. Its easier to understand visual presentations then to just listen to a teacher talk and do a worksheet. Online research projects were always my favorite and I did put a lot of effort in. Technology is also a beneficial tool to teachers, it helps them stay organized and create memorable lesson plans. Technology supports both the instructional and administrative/ professional work of teaching.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chapter 1

Focus Question: Discuss how computers, the internet, social media, and other new technologies are effecting students everyday experiences in and out of school.

        Technology plays an enormous role in the lives of children and adolescents. Since today's students were born they have had technology in many aspects of their lives; television, video games, smartphones, computers, and more. Infants now watch television, children under 5 are using electronic learning devices, and by second grade 70% are playing video games and use internet daily.

        Today’s 8- to 18-year-olds are members of an iGeneration of youngsters who have grown up using computers, the Internet, and other digital media as constant features of their daily lives. They've never known a life without cell phones and social media sites mean more to them then they should. These students are spending 7 or more hours a day using entertainment media,  virtually spending almost every moment they aren't in school with technology.

      By high school 97% of students use the internet. There is no difference between gender use but vary dramatically by race and family income. White students with higher income families use technology more than those in low income household and Hispanics and African Americans.

       How are these Students using the technology? The internet can be very beneficial to helping with school work. Gone are the days when you have to spend hours and hours searching through textbooks in a library to find answers, google can find it in seconds. The internet can greatly help students with research, studying, and homework questions. It cuts down on time and gives them more information than they would ever have time to find in books.
       Social media has its benefits and flaws. It helps students keep in contact with one another and easily message each other questions about school but it can also be a distraction due to the frivolous posts and videos found on sites like twitter and Facebook.
        Overall technology helps students with school work, it gives them access to great amounts of information and resources. But outside of school it can become a distraction and hurtful if only used for entertainment.

       Smartphones are mobile telephones that perform a range of information communication functions, including Internet access, voice communication, text messaging, and video viewing. Smartphones are very beneficial to education. Do you have a quick question about an assignment or subject? Google it and get instantaneous answers. Want to know how something works or an experiment? Find a video. The possibility s and answers are endless and can now fit in the palm of your hand. I had a teacher last semester and if he didnt know the answer to a students question he asked someone to Google it on their phone and then within a minute the question was answered. I found this as a great adaptation of the teacher, he understood that he may not have the answer to everything but that the internet might. Smart phones are also beneficial to communication, by email, texting or more.