Standard #1 - Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

The possibilities of the uses of technology seem boundless! One of the most critical ways that teachers can use technology in their classrooms is to help students to learn and be more creative. As teachers, if we ask that our students use technology to create, we must do it as well, and support them in their efforts. Interacting with technology is a learning experience, and we can show our students this by continuing to learn new things with them. In my opinion, one of the best ways that students can use technology is to solve real world problems. Digital tools makes inquiry easy to do in the classroom, and students can find information at the tips of their fingers. This not necessarily require the Internet. Many resources are now available on CD-ROM, including encyclopedias and books. Reflection is an integral part of the learning process, and can also be done with technology. Instead of writing in a notebook, students can blog about their experiences. Along with making their ideas easily accessible to you, other students can read and comment on them, if you desire. In this way, students can facilitate student learning. Technology can open up a world of possibilities for learning in the classroom.

Standard #2 - Develop and Design Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessment

The demand for technology in the classroom is growing quickly. As this technology is becoming more available to us, we must take advantage of it. Technology allows us even more if an opportunity to reach every student. For example, spelling tests are being given online in my Cooperating Teacher's classroom. This allows students to move at their own pace. It also makes it easier for students, teachers and parents to analyze mistakes that are made by each student, so that instruction can be modified accordingly. Technology also gives us easy access to items in the classroom, such as primary resources, and far away lands through virtual field trips. This can clearly help to enhance the learning experiences of students.

Technology is also a great tool to help students learn about the world. Students are able to research and explore their own person questions relatively quickly using the Internet and other digital resources. Activities that allow students to do this cause students to be responsible for their own learning. They can learn more about themselves and how they learn, and we as teachers can learn along with them. We can use this information to guide the planning of our future lessons, whether or not they incorporate technology. It is also possible to use technology as a tool for assessment.

Technology may also allow us to make interdisiciplinary connections easily among content areas. Here is a lesson plan that I wrote that incorporated technology. This was a social studies lesson on the decisions that voters make during an election. I used InspireData graphs so the students could analyze the change in voter opinion over the course of the class campaign. This allowed me to make a connection to the topic of statistics in math. presidentialelection lesson plan_tech.doc

Standard #3 - Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

Many adults find technology difficult to maneuver. It is necessary to promote technological fluency for both parents and students. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and it is difficult to keep up with the continuous changes. However, basic computer and Internet skills are starting to become skills that people are assumed to have. As a teacher, it is my duty to make sure that my students have the skills necessary to succeed in the world, and it is therefore necessary to expose them to technology. This can be done in a number of ways. Students could publish some of their best work using publishing software. It is necessary to keep up with emerging technology, especially because current technologies are making it easier for teachers to facilitate the learning of their students. One way to expose parents and students to technology is creating a classroom website. It can be used as a way of communicating with parents, and vice versa. Also, as the year goes on, students can help to update the website on a regular basis.

As part of my instructional technology class, I created a classroom website. This website is just a shell of what it would really be, because I do not have much material to include. The website is a tool for both parents and students to stay informed on what is happening in the classroom. Parents and students will be able to see what is on the agenda for the week, the week's homework assignments, and a list of books that they can read at home. Also, both parents and students will be able to explore links that will help them with homework. Another section that I included is the Brush Up! Section. I thought that it would be helpful for both parents and students if they are having trouble with homework at night. In that section, students will also be able to find extra worksheets if they wanted extra practice on a certain topic. Please feel free to explore the website!

Here is a website that I made for my future classroom:

Standard #4 - Promote and Model Digital Citizenship

In this increasingly digital age, copyright infringement has become more common. As a teacher promoting the use of computer and Internet-based activities in the classroom, it is my responsibility to ensure that students are being responsible while doing those activities. The rules of copyright are not exact. This makes it that much more important to have information about it that is easily accessible to students.

Besides promoting the responsible use of digital resources, there are many other components to being a good digital citizen. It is also important to make sure that all students in my classroom have equal access to the digital resources that we use. Students are starting to use different forms of communication such as instant messaging, and social networking websites like Facebook. These modes of communication are easy ways for students to engage in such activities as cyber bullying. As teachers, we must teach our students about how to conduct themselves when using these tools, and how to use them responsibly. On the other hand, these tools can also be used to create international connections from our classroom to the world. While there is the potential for these tools to be misused, we should not forget all of their useful qualities.

Here is a handout that I made for my class about copyright laws: Rodney.copyright.g3.pdf

Standard #5 - Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

It is important to help both students and parents to become technologically fluent. It is just as important to help fellow teachers to do the same. As previously stated, it is difficult to keep up with the curve of technological innovation. We are constantly looking for new ways to increase student success. As teacher leaders, if we have knowledge about tools that may help our students, we must make that information accessible to the larger teaching community, whether or not it is technologically based. We must also be open to use information from the teaching community, and from the research community.

Recently, I explored the use of Google Sky in the upper elementary classroom. Google Sky is a very new tool, released by Google in early 2008. After learning about this tool, I felt that it could be very useful for teachers. It can be used to teach science, and can also be connected to Social Studies. Because this tool is so new, there is not much information available for how teachers can use Google Sky. Therefore, I created a module for teachers that describes the tool, how it can be used in the classroom, and provides some helpful links. Please feel free to explore it at the link below!
Tech Expert Module: