Jan 16, 2013 - Weekly Blog Reflection    2 Comments

Week 1 Reflection Blog Post: The Technology Integration Matrix

The work done with the Integration Matrix was intriguing and provided an overload of information including techniques that use technology with different teaching strategies. There were some examples that were better than others.

One example that I found especially compelling was the use of a podcast to learn and experience different geographical locations. The lesson was referred to as “Where in the World” and the students would record clues and various facts about a location and students were to guess where in the world the place was that was being heard on the podcast. It wasn’t just simple recall as often noted in a behaviorism style of teaching but instead it allowed students choice, higher level thinking, and connection making. This particular style of teaching geography resembled that of constructivism in which students were drawing from all parts of their experiences, their knowledge, and the facts at hand to draw conclusions about the location. The students in the video were very engaged and appeared to be enjoying what they were doing.

There was an example of an integration that I found a bit complicated and not necessarily as valuable to student learning. This video was about a recycling program that was designed by students who used video cameras and voice overs to create a show that recognized good recycling behavior. When something good was done they captured said event and introduced facts about recycling to those around. The idea was great and I think watching students support good behaviors is a great thing for schools to implement however, from a teaching perspective it seems as though a lot of valuable learning would be lost trying to catch students doing good things. Letting students have a show and know facts is great but actually witnessing such acts would be difficult unless created by the students. If the teacher assigned roles to the students to do good acts and then students filmed said acts this would change the activity. There would be a single episode and then students could move forward. I just didn’t agree 100% with the actual method used in this video. It was a stellar idea but a bit hard to pull off.

The most common example of technology that I see used in a classroom is with an interactive whiteboard or smartboard. Teachers use this technology in various forms. Sometimes at the Entry-Active level in which only the teachers is using the technology. They use the smartboard to host their PowerPoint or worksheet. When I long term substitute taught I would often put a picture up and would use a color to circle details in a photo revealing characteristics of Queen Elizabeth I. But then I have also seen the smartboard used in students getting up and writing a concept map on the board. So creating and linking ideas in my opinion is still Entry but instead of Active it is more Entry-Constructive because they are constructing ideas and linking things.

This week in our module I think we were trying to learn and accomplish that there are different styles of teaching and depending on what is being taught there are different methods to try. Incorporating technology into these styles striving for the enhanced learning is going to set  you apart as a teacher. This was a fun week to just begin to understand strategies that change student learning and incorporate technology in these various techniques.

2 Comments

  • Hi Kayla,

    I agree with you there are many teaching styles and the goal is to have teachers successfully incorporate technology into the classroom to foster learning. I think you say it well with “enhanced learning”.

  • I thought your evaluation of the technology matrix was done very well. I agree with your position on interactive white boards. In truth, they should be called gray boards because teachers don’t seem to know how to use them as effective teaching tools and they lie somewhere inbetween a light up whiteboard and an interactive computer depending on who is using it.

    I agree with your assessment of the recycling project as well. I found the same waste of time in one of the lessons I assessed. I think technology can be complex so it requires teachers to spend extra time developing, teaching, and assessing lesson plans that are technologically dependent.

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