In this weblog, I will be discussing the education technology development in a school and over viewing an article that is based on an educational technology professional development.
1. Please discuss your lived experiences of Educational Technology Development: a. Exceeding-The use of the interactive whiteboard and document readers. I was very excited to see that every classroom had one installed with the proper software. The school would have SmartBoard Technologies and the AverVision 300 Document Reader. Over the past few years, teachers have been attending multiple professional developments to use the technology in many different ways. So now, a teacher can use the interactive whiteboard and save the notes, rather than just erasing it. If the student that was absent, they will be able to get a copy of the notes. The document reader can show any resource in color as well as take pictures and create movie files. Other than this hardware resource, which is embedded into the Smartboard Software, another Smartboard hardware that I have seen in action is the SmartBoard Response. The Smartboard Response is a student response system that will give data on student’s strength and weakness when they are doing an activity. Also, teachers have been using websites that is interactive and SmartBoard friendly, like the Smartboard Exchange.
b. Achieving- The use of educational software. Teachers have been taking professional developments in order to use subscribed software like Discovery Education, BrainPop, and Learning A-Z, which has updated information and new teaching curriculum material that is appropriate for Common Core Standards.
c. Slumping- It’s not really slumping, but could be ineffective due to Technology Licenses. The school will be prepared with the data and the staff is trained by professional developments to have the program ready to start at the beginning of the school year. The company that runs the software that requires licenses will have an issue on their end of the program to create licenses for each student. This process takes a lot of time and overall, the student will lose out of the service until the company updates all the data in order for the students to have their own licenses. Then the teachers would need to take updated courses and professional developments to learn about the new aspects of the software.
d. Failing-The use of communication to connect to the outside world. Although the school has held great professional developments, the technology is not kept up nor is it utilized after a certain amount of time by some of the educators. Students want to be engaged at home and parents want to find information about their child’s class, but the teacher neither has a recent update on the website nor wouldn't have website at all. Also the use of different distance education techniques like blogging, video conferencing, and Web 2.0 Technologies is hardly ever used in the school.
2. Based on a reading from the article “Situated Cognition and Technology” by Mark Szymanski and Patricia Morrell, answer the following:
a. Discuss criteria which define successful educational technology professional development.
Based on the article, situated cognition is characterization of how learning takes place not just where it takes place. The one shot approach was ineffective. To accommodate the different needs of the teacher’s involved within their levels of expertise and their curricular needs, the professional developments were arranged of having activities in large groups, small groups, and individual teachers. The results showed that as the teachers were being trained with “situated context”; this approach was effective as teachers were gaining skills and confidence in using technology in their classroom and integrating technology into their teaching. Also the teachers overwhelmingly believed that using technology-enhanced teaching resulted in an increase in student engagement and achievement.
b. Discuss criteria which define the effective school administrator and/or technology coordinator in the context of successful professional development.
As for the action of the involvement of administration of creating a successful professional development, they had to observe in creating a program that needed to be cognizant with the impact of specific cultural and contextual elements contribute to creating successful professional development model concerning classroom technology use. The grant program was observed by the OTEN institution. They implemented the program where a TCTL (technology competent teacher leaders), were advanced in using technology in the classroom and trained the teachers who needed to gain the knowledge of using technology in the classroom as well as collaborating with their curriculum. It was like a student teaching program. The OTEN campus coordinators were administrating the program, and the TCTL were the teachers in the program. Overall, the data shows after interviews and an online project narrative, the professional development program was most helpful when the collaborative activities and workshops that teachers participated in as well as the availability of the OTEN Campus Coordinators when it came to individualized assistance with technology use. Although the grant program was both expensive and time consuming, developing a professional development program within the district as well as staffing the TCTL teachers from within the district are now considered leaders and can assist other teachers within their own school and district to make an impact of student learning when it comes to integrating technology into their teaching.