Archive for the 'technology integration' Category

Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it?

When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go to a technology integration teacher. Any technology integration teacher should offer direct instruction in exactly what the teacher wants. A friend of mine just came back from a one-on-one training session on a management system. He felt lost since the technology integration person showed all the possibilities and my friend became very confused as to what to actually do. My friend felt like the technology integration teacher was boasting about all she knew about the program. My friend did not come away knowing how to use the program. He did not have what he needed for his class. He did not know the time.

How do you, technology integration teachers, instruct teachers in exactly what they need in a simple manner so that they can spend their time on helping students learn their subject area instead of their spending hours trying to figure out how to use a technology?

What is the Role of Technology in the Teaching-Learning process?

A very creative elementary teacher will retire in June because she no longer feels she can teach due to her district’s technology push.  Her district purchased a math online program in which the computer program presents the math concept and  the program has students do stations for a designated amount of time each day. Her job is to make sure that the students rotate through the stations.

Another teacher no longer has time to relate his subject area to the real world because he has to push through his textbook so students can do the  designated  and scheduled online drill and practice for each unit. The district looks at the student data from the online activities as an assessment measure.

A science teacher has to have her students do a specified number of app activities for each unit.  Although this teacher used to do many student inquiry labs, she has had to eliminate those labs in order to provide students time to  complete all the apps.

Finally, students in Carpe Diem schools spend half to  two thirds  of their day doing computer work. These students score well on state tests. (http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/04/22/carpe-diem-charter-school-seizes-tomorrows-innovations-today)

What is your view of the role of technology in the  teaching learning process?  Do teachers or technology determine how students spend their learning time? Who/What  makes decisions about what learning gap  students have and supplies a new strategy to overcome the gap?

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Guidelines for Technology-Based Learning Conference/ Workshop Presentations

During the past few months, I been to numerous conferences.  I have become very disappointed with the presentations. They have been “See the technology” presentations that did not focus on how the technology improves student learning.  I suggest the following guidelines for any technology-based learning presentations including professional development

1. (33.3 %) How does the technology help improve student learning?
Does the presenter identify the specific learning  topic and specific learning goals that this technology helps with?
Does the presenter show at least four real classroom examples from her/his school or district?
Does the presenter  use  examples from real classrooms and not the company’s website that  a professional artist may have spent hundreds of hours creating as a beautiful, but unrealistic, demo?
Does the presenter show  actual learning not just talk about  student learning?
Does the presenter focus on how this technology uniquely helps the students in their learning?  Why use this technology as opposed to some other technology for the same specific learning goal?
Does the presenter focus on the substance of the program, not its glitz?

2. (33.3 %)  Does the presenter show the critical steps that the students go through in using this learning tool from  start to  finish?
Does the presenter focuses on  the critical parts of the program,  not on the minor parts such as  showing every possible  background?
Does the presenter show the critical parts in the  logical order of  student use (from start to finish of the learning) instead of going through the program menu by menu?
Does the presenter only focus on what the  beginning / average  student user would do and not some advanced feature that students would not usually use?
Does the presenter show his/her final product that is the result of what he/she actually did during this workshop?

3. (33.3 %) Does the presenter go over implementation issues,  tricky or non logical things that could prevent the learning from being successful?
Does the presenter know the program well enough to tell critical details such as this  app only records for one minute or a student  cannot erase if she  uses this part?
Does  the presenter  give a realistic time frame  about how much time it takes the students  to do / use this program? Is that time appropriate to the learning level?  For example,  in one program students create an animated mini-movie  of a conversation that takes twenty minutes  to produce when they could do the same conversation with an app camcorder in three minutes.
Does the presenter  mention other programs /apps  that build on this learning to take students to even  higher levels of learning?
Does the presenter talk about how students  collaborate while using this program/ app?
Does the presenter go over how he/she assesses the learning from this program/ app?

Let’s move from the technology whiz  factor  to  the student learning factor!

I have developed many  Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation.  My Spanish spontaneous speaking activities (20+) includes Modified Speed Dating (Students ask  a question from a card-whole class), Structured Speaking (Students substitute in or select words to communicate in pairs),  Role Playing (Students talk as people in pictures or drawing from 2-4 people) and Speaking Mats (Can talk using a wide variety of nouns, verbs and adjectives to express their ideas- pairs or small group),  Spontaneous Speaking (based on visuals or topics in pairs),  and Grammar speaking games (pairs or small group). Available for a nominal fee at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My three formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Web 2.0 Use May Not Be Formative Assessment

As I look at articles, blogs, and conference sessions, I see titles like

Formative Assessment Through Clickers

Formative Assessment Through Cell phones

Formative Assessment Through the Class Blogs/Wikis

Formative Assessment Through Online Quizzes

Formative Assessment Through Twitter

Formative Assessment Through Flickr

These people are generally  using Web 2.0 tools to monitor students, the first stage of formative assessment.  They collect information about where the students are  academically.

However, formative assessment moves from the monitor stage to the diagnosis stage.  How does the students’ present status compare to the desired learning goal?  If there are learning gaps, what strategies will help the students overcome those gaps?

If teachers or Web 2.0 programs do not offer improvement strategies based on the students’ specific learning gaps, then formative assessment does not occur.  Formative Assessment is much more than just seeing how many questions the students can answer;  it helps students to improve through providing new strategies for learning.

For example, if students take an online quiz about a certain learning goal, what happens next? Do the teachers diagnosis the results to see how individuals do on each item? Do the teachers determine which minor goals the students have yet to learn? Do the teachers determine which strategies will best help each student? Do the teachers give formative feedback to each student? Do the teachers build in class time for the students to practice their new formative strategy?  Do the teachers re-assess the learning?

Tuttle's Stages of Formative Assessment

Do you use Web 2.0 tools to go beyond the monitoring of students to a full formative assessment?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Make classroom Web 2.0 use interactive, not static

I thought that Web 2.0 was all about interactivity- someone does something and others respond. However, I’ve noticed that numerous Web 2.0  programs are used primarily in a one way mode  (publish and run mode)

Students use Voki to record their ideas.  However, the recording  usually serve as  the end product.  The recording does not encourage others to respond or build on the recording.  Yes, others can listen to it but they usually do not do anything after listening to it.  For example, Modern Language teachers may have their students record what they did last weekend in the second language.  Once the recording is done, the “learning” is done.  No one will probably listen to it except for the teacher.  I propose a transformation  so that class use of Voki goes from being in a static mode to an interactive  Web 2.0 mode.  Modern Language teachers can have students make Voki recordings that are questions that other class members can answer. For example, students can ask questions in the imperfect tense of their classmates “When you were a child, what was your favorite milk?” and the classmates can answer, “Yes, when I was child, my favorite drink  was chocolate milk.”

Likewise, students produce multi-media Glogster eposters.  However, their eposters occur at the end of their learning. Usually, no one is expected to take their information and react to it or build on it. For example, Social Studies students prepare country reports.   I propose a transformation  so that the class use of Glogster  goes from being in a  static mode to an interactive mode.  Social Studies teachers can ask students to compare/contrast the various county reports to see what commonalities show up about the countries. For example, what do the country reports from South Africa have in common? How do they differ?

How do you have your students use Web 2.0 interactively?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Meaningful Web 2.0 Tools Listings, Please

In searching for a good free web 2.0 program for making stories, I’ve found some common disturbing trends.  Often people simply list the tool’s name without even explaining what that program does.  Unfortunately, most Web 2.0 names do not reveal what type of program it is.  For example, Animoto is a presentation tool.  Some people even present an alphabetical listing of tools which does not help to find specific types of programs.

At least listers should include the category of the tool.  If people do categorize web 2.0 tools, then they usually do not tell what makes each unique.  For example, I recently opened a page that had  a listing of  15+storyboard programs. I had no way to tell how each program worked until I opened each.  Even a description such as ” create a story through selecting various characters and selecting scenes and typing the text”  tells me that students cannot record their own voices.

I would prefer that the educators list the “best” program in each category  and tell why it is the best.  I really do not care to see a  random list of 15+ programs of the same category.  Bigger is not better to a person searching for a specific type of program. Bigger is not better to someone who wants to know what a program really does.

Many times I wonder if the tool  listers have even used the program.  Rarely do I read anything practical about the program such as “The avatar voice of ….produces the  clearest  modern language voices.”  Why do listers  include programs that they have only heard about but not used?

Please, listers of Web 2.0 tools  be practical to really help other educators.  Do not try to overwhelm us!

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Backward/inverted Teaching and Formative Assessment

The Journal Recently ran an article on backward or inverted teaching where the instructor has the students watch a teaching video as homework and then in class they go over problems and the teacher does more one-on-one work with students.

As the students watch the 30 minute  instructional video, who is checking to see if they are comprehending  the video? Are there self-checks built into the video? What happens if a student gets lost at the beginning?  What happens if a student does not understand a major concept?  The students  have to wait until the class for which they will have to do homework.

Such backward teaching seems to go against the current formative assessment approach of constantly monitoring students and helping them to overcome the learning gaps that appear as the lesson develops.  According to formative assessment, students should be helped with their  learning gap as soon as it appears; the students are immediately diagnosed and given appropriate feedback to overcome the gap. The longer the time between the gap and the feedback, the less effective the feedback.

I think that backward teaching can be done well  if appropriate formative assessments are built in just after new concepts or ways of thinking are introduced in the video. Probably a video teacher does not want to go more than ten minutes without doing a check-in on the students.  The teacher might want to go over commonly made mistakes as he/she presents the lesson.  When students know they are “right”, they feel more confident about their learning. When they begin to have doubts, they learn less.

How do you use teaching videos/clips in your class?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Why use technology at its lowest level?

A friend recently attended a conference that had many technology sessions for his subject area. He heard phrases  like “the technology motivates them”,  “the students  like being able to make choices about the background”, and “they like to create.”  He did not hear about how students learn  with the technology!  We have to move from the “isn’t this wonderful!” phase of technology  to the  “how does this increase student learning?” phase of technology integration.

His epiphany was made even more obvious when  he  realized that teachers had students use the lowest of learning  for the technology.  Students did Knowledge /memorization activities. They practiced the spelling of words instead of using/applying the words in sentences.  In another case, students used Wallwisher to write a simple phrase or sentence about the topic.  They did not have to justify  their statement.  They did not react to other students” phrases by agreeing or disagreeing. We can  structure the learning experience so have students think at the highest levels (Bloom’s)  through the use of technology!

How do you use technology in your classroom?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Which Technology Will Save Education this Year?

I’ve been using computers in the classroom  since 1978.    Each year a new technology comes along that claims it will save education. Some evangelists of this technology, usually technology-based people,  tout its wonders. Teachers are trained on this newest and best technology. Whole curriculums are developed around the technology.  Some schools, often pilot schools who have had a huge influx of the technology with special help from the producing company, brag about the many  benefits of this technology. Yet, we do not hear about the long lasting effects on learning.

Some people consider the pen an improvement over the pencil.  Has the pen caused students to write better?  How teachers have students  use the pen improves  students’ writing.  The same is true for any new technology.   “Technology integration” workshops should focus on improving teaching, not on this newest technology.  When these workshops show teachers how to apply different learning strategies such as those from Silver, Strong and Perini in The Strategic Teacher Selecting the Right Research-Based Strategy for Every Lesson (from ASCD) using a technology, then  successful student learning will result. Likewise, a workshop on formative assessment that incorporates technology can lead to greater student achievement.

Another trend with the new technology is that often the producing company has already created the “learning” curriculum. Teachers have less of a role in designing and modifying the curriculum. Teachers become reduced to the observers of the curriculum. Classroom teachers know their own students and they know the best way to modify the curriculum so that their students can learn. Teachers should have available a wide variety of technology-rich resources to help them as they map out the curriculum for their students. These teachers should not be trapped by the technology.

What do the “technology integration” workshops in your district focus on?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Really Effective Technology or Not?

This semester I decided to try something different in my writing class.  After giving them a pre-assessment (writing an in-class essay), I determined that this  class was at the same level as last semester’s students.  My change for this semester was that  I taught the whole semester without using a single PowerPoint.

In all the previous semesters, I have had a PowerPoint presentation  each night that had illustrations,  certain words in different colors,  many visuals, etc.   I had noticed that my night class often went to sleep when I turned down the lights and used the PowerPoint.  Even though I asked them many questions and did interactive things, the class seemed lulled.  This semester it was just me and the whiteboard with the lights on.  I did have different colored markers. I did full up the board and erase it several times during the class.   I felt that I had more eye contact (could see their reactions better)  and more interactivity with the students (could show other  strategies when they encountered a problem)  rather than being the button-pusher for the next PowerPoint Slide.

The informal results  based on this semester’s last in-class essay  compared to the previous semester’s was that this semester’s students did just as well (really slightly better)  than last semester’s students.  The lack of PowerPoint did not negatively impact the students; in fact, they did better without it.  Teacher methodology (focusing on students’ present learning status)  matters more than technology!

How do you know if technology is a truly effective tool in your class?

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Let’s Hear it for the Power of Technology! LOL!

I know of a person who does not have any technology in his room accept for a 70s looking overhead.  One day he decided to walk around  his institute and see how the teachers who had technology in their room was using it.  9/10 rooms were using the “elmo” type device to show a handout, a passage from a book, etc.  They were using their fully Internet capable machine as a modern day opaque projector which would project the image of anything put inside it. The one other person was showing a DVD.  How much money has been invested in technology so that people can use technology from the past such as a DVD player or an opaque projector!   Educational institutes need to take a lead in helping their teachers to use the many educational resources that are available.  Perhaps at each faculty meeting there can be a five  minute demonstration  of various ways to use technology to improve student learning in powerful ways.

What does a walk around your school reveal about technology use and student learning?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Improving How We Use Wikis for Better Student Learning

Here are some handout notes for the session:

Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D.
Instructor, writer, consultant
harry.g.tuttle   at   gmail.com

Blog: https://eduwithtechn.wordpress.com

Purpose: To improve students’ learning through changing how we use wikis in our classroom.

Formative Assessment Focus

Improvements:

    1. Teach the mechanics

    2. Identify the learning goal/purpose

    3. Explain the quality of responses

    4. Use students’ notes

    5. Organize the class

    6. Provide in-class and out-of-class resources by learning style

    7. Avoid common web topics

    8. Make learning “collective wisdom” instead of  “collective stupidity”

    9. Have exemplary work and reactions to the exemplars

    10. Build in real and varied interaction

    11. Build on the past

    12. Make group work transparent

    13. Have a student-help-student section

    14. Carefully use outside experts and other classes

    15. Co-create with students

A wiki has been created for you to add to  http://wikiforbetterlearning.pbwiki.com/

A mini version of the presentation is available at slideshare

Reponding to Your Students

Panic Attack: Chalk is the Technology in the classroom

I’m teaching as an adjunct at a community college which is part of the state system. I was shocked when I went into my classrooms and discovered that chalk was the technology. There was a dusty overhead in the corner. There was no computer and no LCD. For as many years as I can remember I’ve had a computer and projector in my classroom. Now when I want to use images in the classroom, color coded items in a paragraph, graphics to highlight a writing aspect, Youtube clips as a writing prompt, I cannot. Apparently, English teachers do not need technology. This English teacher does!

I am finding it very hard to go backward in terms of teaching. I’ve covered the chalkboard, erased it, and written over it again. So much wasted time. Each class is in a different room so I have to rewrite the same thing. I certainly am not going to write a long paragraph on the board.

I may have to  resort to buying transparencies so that at least I can show some items- about $1.50 per transparency. I may use up my pay for the courses just in transparencies.

I need  technology for my classroom so that I can spend more time teaching and less time writing on the chalkboard.

Digitizing part of book For Interactivity-Camera

I have been taking some pictures of the class textbook so that I can project the image and then mark it up. I copy a speech and then we go through and identify how the speaker has introduced, given evidence, and concluded. Yesterday we went through an information speech and the students focused on every mention of an expert (person, book, or professional organization) to show that the speech has been built on facts. It took me about three minutes to take the pictures, move them over to my computer, do a simply crop, and save as a .gif file to put into the PowerPoint. It is a simple technique if you do not have a document camera, if you do not have a scanner, and if you are too lazy to retype the whole three page entry.

Professional Development, Leadership and Student Learning

I’m a little confused about professional development, teacher interest and administrative leadership. I thought that all professional development should focus on enabling the teachers to help their students be better learners.

However, I know of a professional developer who gets all the topics for the professional development from the teachers. The teachers are happy because they get their topics; the developer is happy because teachers attend professional development. I was asked do some professional development there. When I found out the topics, “Math Websites”, “Social Studies Websites” and “English websites”, I asked if I could add some teaching strategies in. I changed the courses from jumping from website to website to seeing how the websites helped in assessment and analyzing the structure that the websites provided for struggling students. I found it interesting that I had to take the leadership in creating professional development that would focus on student learning.

Do the professional developers you know lead or follow? Do these developers focus the professional development directly on improving student learning? Or do they focus on the teachers’ desire for the newest tech toys? Or do they focus on productivity items such as making handouts look better? How does professional development in your area lead directly to improved student learning?

Birth of a Child and Hope for the Future

Rowan

My grandson, Rowan, was born yesterday early in the morning. Mom and Dad are doing fine. As I ponder what his life will be like I focus in on his schooling and technology. I think about my many years of teaching and my son’s educational experience. The last school district I was in had limited technology -every teacher did not have an LCD; in fact we shared one within the department of 20 people. There were a few mini-labs but there were many thousands of students and their teachers vying for those labs. My son had many excellent teachers and some not so good ones. A few teachers used technology but he had more technology at home than in school.  I think that maybe schools have changed but then I think about my working with a large city school district for the past year and I know that some schools have not changed. They have not changed in terms of curriculum and in terms of using technology to create in-depth learning experiences.

Have we fundamentally changed how and what we teach? How we globally integrated technology to provide probing learning experiences? What will be different in five years when he starts his first formal schooling? What will cause a change?  I wish the best for Rowan in his schooling!

Technology Skills Assessment

A push is on to assess the technology skills of students and teachers. Let’s add administrators.

Here are some questions that Roger Sevilla and I thought of:

  • Who will determine what skills will be assessed?
  • Will the skills be assessed in a “paper and pencil” self-perception survey mode or will the skills be assessed in actual performance?
  • Will the teachers be assessed on what technology skills they have or on what technology skills they use in the classroom? Same for students. Same for administrators.
  • Will the district create its own assessment or will they use commercial programs?
  • Will everyone be assessed or will there be a sampling? If sampled, will it be a percentage of each school or only certain schools?
  • If the survey reveals that the students, teachers, and administrators have a high degree of technology skills, are technology integration teachers needed?

Formative Assessment & Technology Workshop: Hands-On or Minds-On

I am doing a two hour formative assessment and technology “hands-on” workshop this weekend. I do not like “hands-on” workshops since they imply that the physical activity is the focus of the workshop. I prefer “minds-on” workshops where the participants spend time thinking and then they may do something on the computer. In the past, I have been amazed when people finish my workshop and they complain that they “didn’t use the technology very much so why were we in a lab?” They have just seen ten different examples of formative assessment that use various technologies; they have seen simple yet highly effective ways of integrating formative assessment into the class. They know how to implement these techniques. However, they want to complain about not using technology very much. I would like their focus to be on education and not technology.

Cherry Picking Metaphor For Technology Integration

One summer I worked picking cherries. I would move a tall ladder into a cherry tree and pick as many cherries as I could from that one location before I would get down and move the ladder to another section of that same tree.

What if I told you that I moved the ladder to one tree, picked one cherry, moved the ladder to another tree, picked one cherry, and continued tree by tree picking one cherry each time? You would think I was crazy! Yet isnt’ that what many technology integration teachers do? They work with one teacher in one building, go to another building and work with one teacher, go to another building and work with one teacher. When they are done, they have a few cherries in their basket.

What if they had a cherry picking mentality of working with a large group of teachers from the same building – perhaps, all 7th grade social studies teachers, perhaps all English teachers at the high school, or perhaps all elementary teacher in one building interested in using a wiki in their classroom? By working with a group, there can be group momentum and collaboration. The technology integration teacher can work with a larger group at once in the same building and help them to be successful in learning how to integrate the technology into the classroom. The classroom teachers can feel excited by the success of their students in improved learning through the onsite mentoring of the technology integration teacher.The technology integration teacher can collect many cherries at once; he or she can share with the building principal a big success instead of just working with one person. The technology integration teacher can collect large groups of cherries in each building; therefore, they have a huge basket of cherries in just a few months.

How do you collect technology integration cherries?

Let’s save Local History Through our Classroom Technology

Many years ago there was a push for students to produce local histories. I’ve not noticed that recently. In my community, the last school publication on this local community was done about 1990 and then it was very superficial- more of an activity book, then a history book. Like many communities, we have WW I and II vets, the people who owned the original buildings, the people who remember what life was like back “then”, the people who saw the rise and decline of the community, the people who have new visions for the community, buildings that are falling down, cemeteries that are being overrun with weeds, local famous people who few remember anymore, local historical landmarks that are being torn down for new buildings, old documents are falling apart, old pictures are fading away, etc.

Today we have so many classroom technologies to capture quickly people’s memories–digital cameras, digital camcorders, digital recorders. Digital storytelling is a big movement. We should not wait until Veterans’ Day to have people from our community into our classroom. Let’s involve social studies, English (narratives), math (chart the population over the years) science (what technology changes have taken place and its impact on the community), health (changes in water and sewage, types of restaurants) and other subject areas to collect valuable historical information on our community before it is lost.

Let our schools save the local history before no one or no objects tells of the past history. Let’s involve our students in real learning that involves community people. Let our students be of service to the community. Not longer do we ask ” Brother, do you a dime?” but “Brother & Sister, do you have technology to save our past before it is gone?”

Digital Classroom – Technology Rich or Technology Poor

In one room that I teach I have a desktop and an LCD. Not even a printer. It is very difficult to be a Web 2.0 class when there are not computers for students. It is hard to be a Web 1.0 when I just have the one computer. There is no Smartboard, no clickers, or nor other interactive technologies. I’m the only interactive technology. The Tech Director had to modify settings to allow me to use programs like YouTube. There are two log-ins. Sometimes technology is almost too difficult to use.

Yes, I do use technology in class but it takes effort to figure out how to do it interactively. Students answer questions in turn instead of individually answering questions like they would  do if they had their own computers.  Students cannot move at their own pace, they move in -lock step.  Students cannot take online quizzes to measure their progress.

Let’s get rid of digital divide! Let’s harness the  power for learning that technology brings to the classroom.

Sensationalizing Weather and Technology Benefits

I’ve noticed this year that the weather people tend to sensationalize the weather just as the news reporters do with the news. They predict horrible storms and we get a few inches.  They warn about possible ice conditions that could making driving extremely difficult and then we get a very thin layer of ice that melts away in a few hours.

I wonder how much we sensationalize the effects of technology.  My class is doing so much better due to ……

Some questions we might want to ask ourselves:

Do we assess how much the students are learning  with the “new” technology through an assessment instrument? Is that assessment instrument similar to one we normally use in class?  Similar to one used on our school final or a state assessment?

Are we noticing the students’ excitement and motivation and misinterpreting those as their learning?

Has the “new” technology allowed our students to probe more in-depth than without the technology? What evidence do we have?

Does more student talk or even student talk with others in distinct locations give students a more comprehensive learning about the goal? What measurable evidence do we have?

Have we restructured how our students do learning activities in the classroom? Is that restructuring the real cause of the student learning and the technology is just the context of the learning?

Has the “new” technology allowed our students to make more mental connections among their learning?  How do you measure those connections by using concept maps or other assessment tools?

Converting Long URLS (website addresses) to short Ones Via Tinyurl

In my classroom, I have an LCD device but I cannot send out websites to the students. (Emailing website URLs is a chore.) They have to copy theURL  and then enter them. Whenever I give them a long URL they often make mistakes in copying it.  The solution is the tinyurl site which takes a long URL and converts it a very short URL. For example, http://www.authenticeducation.org/bigideas/article.lasso?artId=63&-session=Auth:8D95D4D40533c2028AMsFEF5FFBB

becomes http://tinyurl.com/35m6xn.

Converting to a tiny URL works great for twitter or written material.

Try it and you  be amazed at how it makes it easier for your students!

The Role of Technology in Your Class: Purposeful or Wasteful?

Eli Whitney image from Wikipedia
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli_Whitney

I recently had a discussion with a Social Studies teacher who was telling me about the great project her students were doing.

She told that the students researched their famous person, spent several days to put it in PowerPoint and a day to present it. I asked her what a project contained. She said it had the person, his/her birthday and place, what his/her accomplishment was, and the impact of the accomplishment. I really liked the accomplishment and impact aspect of the project. However, when she told me that this project took “only” a week to do (one day to get the information, three days to do the PowerPoint, and one day to present); I realized that it was a technology project and not an academic learning project. The students spent one out of five days or 20% in learning the academic information. This information is readily available in most encyclopedias or websites such as Wikipedia so student could find it in little time. They spent most of their time in decorating their PowerPoint statements about the person such as finding a map of the state he or she was born. They could have found the information, found a critical picture that illustrates the accomplishment or impact, and presented in one period. When students have a clear learning purpose (the accomplishments of people), they can thoroughly accomplish the task through meaningful and effective uses of technology. I wonder why the teacher allowed her students to waste four valuable learning days.

Do you focus on student learning or technology in your students’ technology-infused learning?

Do conferences and professional development model good learning with technology?

We know the importance of using exemplars in learning. They show students the high quality expected of them in their learning.

How many professional development and conference  sessions show exemplars of student technology-infused academic learning?   When we see stellar exemplars, we raise up to that level. How many professional development and conference sessions model technology in the same way that they want the teachers and students to use it? Or do conference sessions and professional development talk about technology and talk about the learn?

I am fascinated that many technology in education conferences and much professional development in schools focus on technology without concentrating  on the student academic learning. Students usually do not  realize the high level of learning expected of them  unless we clearly show it to them.  The same is true for teachers. Does each session start with exemplars of student academic learning? Does each session show how teachers and students help the students to arrive at that high level through  technology?  Or do the sessions focus on the mechanics of the technology?  What are these sessions really modeling?

_____

Improving Reading Skills With Technology

TechLearning

I wrote another article on improving reading skills through technology, Ramping Up Reading With Technology. There are fourteen different easy-to-apply techniques. Try these out in your classroom so that your students can be better readers! Although the examples are in English, many of these will work in ESL and World Language classes.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Improving Student Learning Through Your and Their Technology Use

A colleague sent me an email about an article I had written. He complained that I included too much technology in the article. He does not think that teachers regularly use technology. When I used to work in a rural school, the new male teachers all spent their planning and lunch time on the library computers (comparing car prices and seeing sports results). They did not use technology in their classrooms.

Some questions are:

Do you use technology on a regular basis in your classroom (daily or weekly)?
Do your students use technology on a regular basis in your classroom (daily or weekly)?
How many different technology do you use during a quarter?
How many different technology do your students use during a quarter?
What are the advantages of each of these different technology?
When you use technology, do you use it mainly for Bloom’s lower level thinking activities (note taking, telling about) or mainly for Bloom’s higher level thinking (analysis, evaluate, synthesis)?
When your students use technology, do they use it for Bloom’s lower level thinking activities (note taking, telling about) or for Bloom’s higher level thinking (analysis, evaluate, synthesis)?

Do students consume material using technology or do they produce material using technology?

Do you use technology to take the students out of the four walls of the classroom (Internet searching does not count) or does your technology use keep them within the four walls of the classroom?
How?

Does your technology use promote students knowing about their progress in the standards or does your technology use only give students their grades?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Promoting Your Technology Integration Efforts, Not Technology

Subject area learning or technology learning

I recently heard of an alarming situation. A superintendent had been wined and dined by a company that would take care of the school’s technology needs to supposedly prepare students for the future. When the superintendent mentioned one of the things that the company could do for the students to the director of technology; the director mentioned that they were already doing it and gave several subject area examples. The superintendent went on to tell something else that this futuristic company could do. The director again told how they were presently doing that with examples at various grade levels. Unfortunately, the superintendent hired the company. The technology integration in the district went from a focus on students’ subject area learning through technology to students’ learning technology skills. Teachers were given modules that they were to teach. These were not modules on subject area content learning but on technology skills. Teachers found out that they had even less time to teach subject area content learning.

How do you as teachers and you as directors of technology-infused learning demonstrate clearly to your principal and superintendent the students’ technology-infused in-depth subject area learning?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

——

Eliminate educational technology; have technology-infused learning

Instructional Technology

Educational Technology. Instructional Technology. What a misnomer!

Technology is not instructional. It is how the teachers and students choose to use the technology that makes it instructional.

Why is “instructional” (the purpose of using technology) the adjective that describes “technology” (the noun)?

I like terms like “technology-infused learning” or “technology-mediated learning.” Notice that learning is the noun and “technology” is the adjective.

Our focus should not be on technology since it is only a tool to help us get to the end of learning. The more we focus on learning, the more wisely we use technology and the more our students learn.

What is your focus?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

—-

Does Your Classroom Technolgy Use Support School’s Academic Priorities-Part 1

The big question is not “Do you use technology in your class?” It is not “Which technology do you use in the class?” It is not “How often do you use technology in your classroom?” The critical question is “How does your classroom technology use support the school’s academic priorities?” If how you use the technology does not support the school’s academic priorities, then your technology use is ineffective.

A fourth grade teacher spends two months on a poetry unit in November and December. She digitally records her students reading a poem. She has her students write their poems and read them to students in another location via videoconferencing. She creates a blog where the students can share their poems. They word process a booklet of their own poems.

In Jan. her students take the state language arts assessments. Has her poetry unit with all its technology activities helped prepare the students to be successful on the state assessment? No! She has not done any of the activities that are required on the state assessment.

Her technology use in the unit was not beneficial to the students on the state assessment. She could have had the students compare two poems on the same topic which is close to a state assessment activity using any technology and then that technology use would benefit the school’s academic priority of the English Language Arts state assessment?

How do you use technology to support the school’s academic priorities?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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