external image about.jpg

In today's fast-paced, modern world, technology increasingly surrounds us. It is important to integrate technology into the classroom as a way to enhance learning and equip students with 21st digital literacy skills. The following are reflections on the five ISTE NETS-T Standards, which outline expectations for effectively implementing technology in the classroom.

1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

An important lesson I learned throughout the semester was that technology should not simply be used as an additive, but as a enhancement to learning. Technology, when used appropriately, can be used to spark student interest and creativity, and facilitate engaging learning. Online resources like EduBlogs or Blogger allow students to express their creativity and reflect on class lessons. These type of blog sites, where students can post reflection pieces or engage in a discussion thread, allow the learning to extend beyond the classroom. In the classroom, online, educational game sites like those found on iCivics advance student learning within an engaging virtual environment

2. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments

School districts have increasing access to technology and devices in this "digital age." Teachers have the opportunity to use these digital resources as a means to develop digital literacy and alternatively assess student learning. For example, students can demonstrate their conceptual knowledge of a certain historical time period by creating their own interactive timeline using websites such as Time Toast or Timeglider. In the classroom, teachers can present alternatives to lecture or textbook reading by utilizing online resources such as Prezi that engage visual learners. Additionally, educational videos, such as those made by Crash Course, can be integrated into the classroom as a fun, engaging way to present important content material.

3. Model Digital Age Work and Learning

Before using any type of technology in the classroom, it is important that teachers research resources that best fit their learners. Websites such as Edudemic offer valuable planning guides and rules of best practice for teachers to use as they dive into the digital world. Teachers should consult their colleagues, community members, and parents and students to find tools that best support student success and innovation. Once teachers have found the best resources for their classroom, they should carefully plan for the implementation of these resources. Technology, for all of its benefits, can also upend a carefully designed lesson if a network fails or a laptop isn't charged. Teachers should first master the use of technology before integrating its use in the classroom, and create "back-up" plans for their lessons, just in case the wireless is down that day.

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

Technology can be used to enhance learning and engage students in fun, informative activities. However, technology also needs to be understood as a tool that entails specific rights and responsibilities. Teachers have a responsibility to understand the limitations and expectations of technology in regards to copyright and fair use, and should understand these responsibilities prior to using technology in the classroom. By using technology in the classroom, teachers can help their students develop as global citizens in a digital world. Websites like Edutopia offer invaluable resources on how to education students about this important concept.

Technology affords students the opportunities to explore different people, places, and cultures, and teachers should educate students about the effects of globalization on modern world. Sites such as Google Maps and Skype have educational branches that allow students to develop greater cultural understanding, but it is teachers' responsibility to first educate students about the path to this global, digital community.

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Teachers should continually be looking for ways to grow and improve professionally. Though teachers can look to their colleagues within the school for collaboration and reflection, the digital age has ushered in a global learning community that offers teachers a wealth of resources for growth and new ideas. Social networks such as LinkedIn provide teachers with the opportunity to connect with fellow professionals around the world to share lesson ideas and educational experiences. Teachers can explore personal education blogs, attend webinars, or read weekly online news sites to gain access and insight into the world of education and technology.