As technology continues to grow it is interesting to see how other schools are using technology in their classrooms.  I found the example of students making videos of their interpretations of Tom Sawyer very refreshing.  The plan had students use their ideas of visualization to create their own representations of the book in collaboration with the technology class.  Students were able to be actors, producers, directors, costume designers, and many more things.  The students were also able to get outside and explore their options for shooting their movie.  I thought this project did a great job of incorporating different subjects to collaborate on an assignment.  The project also gave students tools to be successful while gaining real world experience in many job areas that the students may be interested in when they become adults.  The whole project fits well with Gagne’s engaged learning.  You have all the aspects of students working with their community of students and in their community through location scouting for their video.  You also have the students collaborating during the project giving them a feeling of self or purpose.  It also gives the students a way to explore information they learned and achieve great goals like creating their own movie.

There was not one specific example that caught my eye as questionable.  I felt in general that to be able to do things with technology takes a lot of resources.  I also wondered how often these schools use the technology like this in their lessons.  From most of the videos it seemed that these schools had many computers, and other tools like video cameras, and other software needed to complete the lessons.  I know at least for my school that not every class has computers for a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio.  It is actually quite a battle to get computers for ones class.  I think that being able to use technology is great but your district and school have to have the resources to make those technologies available.  I also think to what happens if things malfunction, and if the teacher is prepared to troubleshoot the problem.  I know that my school only has one technology resource person and they are only at our school once a week.  With these considerations in mind I believe at least in my school this type of lesson would be great, but not something that would be possible on a daily or even weekly basis for every class.

Unfortunately I have not seen a whole lot of technology use in my school so far.  Most of the technology I see is in the active-entry range.  Many of the teachers I work with use smart boards to conduct lessons, and provide students with other interesting videos on the subjects they are learning.  I think that implementation of more technologically advanced lessons takes planning.  I also believe that these lessons would work better in a collaborative setting so that one teacher is not overwhelmed with questions that may come up.  This could also assist in making sure all the students understand the use of technology while they are learning.

References

Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (2011). The technology integration matrix. Retrieved from http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.php

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