Educational Technology

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments. Teachers:
a. promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.
b. engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.
c. promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students' conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative processes.
d. model collaborative knowledge construction by engaging in learning with students, colleagues, and others in face-to-face and virtual environments.

By using technology in the classroom, the students learning experience will be enhanced through various tools. By using such programs as Kidspiration, Inspiration, and WebQuests the students can put their own thoughts and creativity into the assignment. They can also extend the lesson beyond the computer and work on it with their peers in the classroom. These programs, along with others, allow the students to create their own projects and assignments and explore various aspects of topics that interest them. Allowing them to choose their own areas to research and learn about is important because it ensures that the student will be engaged in the activity and do a good job on the assignment. With the background I have received from this course, I feel confident in my technology abilities to lead my future students in a positive way and increase not only their academic knowledge but also their technological knowledge. The programs and tools I have learned about will be implemented in my classroom so that the students can expand their knowledge in non-traditional ways through the use of technology.

Below is a picture of students engaged in a laptop lesson on graphing that I created. Students graphed the classes favorite kinds of ice cream.

2.Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessment incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the NETS•S. Teachers: or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.
b.develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.
c.customize and personalize learning activities to address students' diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.
d.provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.

All of the programs that are available to both teachers and students can be used as beneficial learning tools for students and teachers. They can also be shared through the Internet which is an invaluable resource for educators. Tools such as Voice Threads, Digital Videos, and Podcasts provide students with different ways to not only learn information but also teach information. They can also create these projects which gives them technological experience that many current teachers did not have growing up. These tools are also very easy to create and upload to websites, making them student-led assignments. They can also be used as assessment tools for teachers through the 'comment' device on Voice Threads for example. Students can access the websites and/or links and post responses or comments to the activity or lesson provided. Teachers can also use the finished project as an assessment on what the student has learned about a particular subject.

Here is a Voice Thread that was created by myself and a colleague. It is a brief lesson on magnetism for Kindergartners.

Here is a Web Quest that was created by myself and a colleague. It is a lesson on cause and effect for First Graders.

3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers:
a.demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
b.collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
c.communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital- age media and formats.
d.model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

There are many digital communities that have been created for educators to use to share ideas about lessons and classroom advice. After a brief exposure to them this semester, I have seen how helpful and resourceful they can be for teachers. The feedback and ideas from other teachers provides a different perspective than might be given from fellow teachers in the same school. It also provides a way to network with other teachers who may be dealing with similar issues in their classrooms. These digital communities also allow for lessons to be shared and collaborative projects and lessons to be completed. There are numerous sources that provide projects for multiple schools and classrooms to participate in and then join together for a big, interactive learning experience for students. Teachers can also communicate with their students through these digital communities by creating a blog or wikispace for the students to access and utilize from home. On such websites, teachers can provide students with sufficient search engines and resources on the internet to further their educational experience.

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:
a.advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
b.address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.
c.promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d.develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools.

The use of technology must be appropriately displayed for students because tey will model the behavior of their teachers and other authoritative figures in their educational career. By sharing with the students appropriate websites and tools on the Internet at a young age, the students will have a strong foundation in technology and know how to use it... not abuse it. Through the use of tools such as Diigo, netvibes, and wikis, I will be able to provide my students with a variety of websites and search engines to complete their assignments in a safe internet environment. Also, by giving them the opportunity to use the blog feature on websites, they will have exposure and practice in digital etiquette and social interactions with their peers, both in their own school and other schools. The earlier students are exposed to and taught the correct behavior to use in the classroom on the Internet the better. They will be able to use these resources to their advantage throughout their educational career and do so in a repsonsible way.

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers:
a.participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
b.exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
c.evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.
d.contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.

The integration of technology in the classroom is important, especially with the current generation of technologically raised students. Not only is it important to incorporate technology in the classroom, but also to keep up to date technology tools in use. Tools that can be updated and created by teachers are very beneficial because the teachers will know the exact content of the activity and be able to update it as necessary. The students will also see that their teacher is competent in the field of technology and can share that knowledge with them. The infusion of technology, especially if created by the teacher, lets the student know that the most up-to-date resources are being utilized for their education. It is also important for the teacher to utilize all aspects of technology that the school has to offer, whether it is a lot or a little. It is also necessary for teachers to stay up to date through professional development courses and staying in contact with the school technology facilitator.

Here is a Voice Thread created by myself and two of my colleagues on the technology offered at our placement elementary school, Waller Mill, in Williamsburg, Virginia in the fall of 2008.

The link below provides an overview of the program Kidspiration. The module was created to give those interested a tool to teach them about Kidspiration and all it has to offer. There are links to lessons created using Kidspiration as well as an instructional video on how to use Kidspiration effectively.

technology expert - kidspiration.doc