Course Reflections

Reflecting over the past seven weeks, there were three assignments that impacted my future instruction for the better.

The first was the overview of the ISTE website.  I am familiar with our Texas state organization of technology, and I had heard of ISTE; however, I had never investigated them further.  What I learned from this assignment was the ­vast number of resources they have to offer, for example, EdSurge and other podcast or their ISTE Live conference that I plan to attend one day in the future.

Another assignment, the web-based assessment, helped me to develop a web-based, Google Classroom project, that I will implement into my instruction this fall. It was exciting to create a project sample from start to finish, including a rubric – making this assignment ready to be assigned.

With a background in graphic art, I was excited to complete the infographic assignment. It allowed me to be creative while showcasing some of education’s top tech trends but also gave me great insight into where the future of technology in education is headed.  I am not sure I am ready for AI to be teaching my students or even my own children one day, but the thought of being able to use Virtual Reality to assist my students in better understanding mathematics is a unique concept.

These assignments and many others challenged me to incorporate more technology-based lessons into my lesson plans – I am currently planning at least one form of these assignments every week. They opened up many more options of academic reinforcements to be added to my educator toolbox and have changed how I will assess my students and consider assessable options for all learners.  

I am taking away a lot of new knowledge regarding educational technology and I have already begun to share information with my teaching team.  I’ve enjoyed becoming a better tech-savvy teacher.

Technology Trends

References

Alexander, B., Ashford-Rowe, K., Barajas-Murphy, N., Dobbin, G., Knott, J., McCormack, M.,  
            Pomerantz, J., Seilhamer, R. & Weber, N. (eds.) (2019). EDUCAUSE Horizon Report: 
            2019 Higher Education Edition
. 282 Century Place, Suite 5000 Louisville, CO 80027:  
            EDUCAUSE. ISBN: 978-1-933046-02-0

The Evolution of Technology in the Classro­om. Purdue University Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from 
            https://online.purdue.edu/blog/education/evolution-technology-classroom 

Friedman, L. W., & Friedman, H. (2013). Using Social Media Technologies to Enhance Online 
            Learning. Journal of Educators Online, 10
(1), 1-22.

Hicks, P. (2021, May 12). The Pros and Cons of Using Virtual Reality in the Classroom
            eLearning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/pros-cons-using-
            virtual-reality-in-the-classroom 

Gupta, G. (2022, March 3). Pros and Cons of Gamification. eLearning Industry. Retrieved 
            from https://elearningindustry.com/pros-and-cons-of-gamification 

Iliev, P. (2020, October). Educational Technologies Based on Artificial Intelligence: Some Pros  
            and Cons
. In 2020 International Conference Automatics and Informatics (ICAI) (pp. 1-6). 
            IEEE.

Marr, B. (2022, February 21). The Five Biggest Education and Training Technology Trends in  
            2022. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2022/02/18/the-
            five-biggest-education-and-training-technology-trends-in-2022/?sh=734e38f62f4d 

What Are Current Trends and Issues in Educational Technology? Tech Journal. Retrieved from 
            https://techjournal.org/current-trends-and-issues-in-educational-technology/ 

Equitable Access

Creating equitable access to websites for all students in a classroom is very important. With the overabundance of information, activities, and resources found online these days, it is my duty as a classroom teacher to make sure all my students are granted access to these resources. According to ISTE, equitable access makes sure students know how to use the technology, where to get help, and must be adaptable to meet diverse learner needs.

My classroom is fortunate enough to have a classroom set of Chromebooks with internet access for every student. Additionally, we have two desktop computer stations for any student that may require a larger screen or the use of a physical computer mouse. We take time, at the beginning of each year, to teach students how to properly access online content, and how to adjust their online settings such as font size and color, background color as well as audio options for text to speech. Many students carry headphones with them; however, we also have them available in the classroom.

Students have two different options should they need help with classroom technology or accessing online materials. They may raise their hand and I would come to their desk for assistance, or the second option allows them to scan a posted QR code and submit a technology help request. The latter is helpful to those students who do not feel comfortable asking questions out loud or those requests that do not require an immediate response.

Technology becomes useful once each student has mastered skills to level online content to aid in their success.

References

Equitable Access. ISTE. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.iste.org/standards/essential-conditions/equitable-access 

Technology Lesson Demonstration

Kahoot! is an educational technology that allows teachers to create an element of entertainment to enhance learning. I chose Kahoot! based on research that shows an increase in students’ motivation from digital gaming (Chen, 2018). Instead of using traditional worksheets to assess students’ comprehension, I replaced them with a game allowing observation of individual efforts or collaboration through teams. Using a digital platform allows the review to occur more efficiently or be assigned remotely, making this tool more productive. Mathematics is perceived as being complicated – the introduction of Kahoot! removes some anxiety and allows students to have fun.

References

Chen, S. (2018). Classroom gaming: What it isn’t, what it is, and how to do it right – EdSurge News. EdSurge. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-02-23-classroom-gaming-what-it-isn-t-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-right 

Gaming

Gaming in the classroom has had its critics over the years; however, there are several benefits to a gamified classroom. For example, games allow students to enjoy the game, try out different aspects, and even lose sometimes, without the typical failure apprehension.  It also encourages team building among students and gives motivation to those that might typically struggle with their routine homework (Chen, 2018)

On the contrary, gaming does not come without challenges in the classroom. Mainstream games designed for supporting educators do not typically collect student data teachers desire to be able to adapt and modify instruction. Gaming studies have also shown that as a student falls further behind the game leader, they begin to lose motivation to continue and demonstrate a lack of optimism (Garza, 2022)

I don’t know that I have a lot of strategies that I currently implement to make gaming productive other than I want the students’ outcome to have learning enhanced.  I believe gaming in the classroom would become inappropriate when the game involves any form of Violence or if the game promotes solidary and not cooperative learning.

Gaming can clearly have its advantages when used correctly in the education environment.

References

Chen, S. (2018). Classroom gaming: What it isn’t, what it is, and how to do it right – EdSurge News. EdSurge. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-02-23-classroom-gaming-what-it-isn-t-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-right 

Garza, M. (2022). Challenges of games in the classroom. eduGOOGdroid. Retrieved June 9, 2022, from https://edugoogdroid.com/2022/01/31/challenges-of-games-in-the-classroom/