Discoveries from conversations, presentations, experience, & reflections
My dad and I were on a little road trip adventure visiting fishing harbors in Taiwan and we struck up this conversation about technology. I took out my phone to take a picture of us and I told him about how I didn’t have enough room on my phone so when I get home, I needed to send it to the cloud (since I’m not using LTE data here).
Immediately after I told him about the cloud, I eagerly explained how the students at my school will all be 1:1 devices next year. I kept sharing and including how our kindergarteners are 1:1 ipads and our 1st through 5th graders will be 1:1 Chromebooks.
He asked a question that made me stop to think. What are you using the devices for that is different from a school that isn’t using it? Now, here I could have inserted… “collaboration” or “being paperless” but I think he meant more to this question than my buzzwords.
Technology needs to be more than what one would do if they didn’t have it.
I started to make a list of the apps and sites based on the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition). I was troubling myself with apps that should either go into substitution or augmentation. My dad said the most interesting thing. He explained, “Aren’t you making it complicated? This list should be 2 columns.” So basically, it dwindles down to two categories: replacement or innovation.
Not that replacement is bad or anything because I use apps and sites from my replacement list. However, from my innovation is the speciality behind technology. What you can’t do without technology. For example, Google Docs is amazing but it is a replacement of paper and pencil. I use it all the time but the innovation is behind collaborating on the same doc with multiple users and it could be accessible anywhere as long as you have wifi. Coding on Code.org’s Code Studio is also innovation since you can’t necessary code a computer on paper (you can write down the code but it won’t do much). Both replacements and innovations apps in technology are wonderful but as I move forward as a part time technology coach this upcoming year, I need to keep in mind that in order to ask our kids to be creative we need to provide these innovative opportunities for our kids. This is what will shape them to be future innovators. These activities will be the ones that will make them prepared for their future that is still unknown.
Today, I woke up and checked my twitter account. Dr. Jose Villarreal shared an article worth reading: The 4 biggest mistakes that teachers make when integrating technology.
In classrooms all around the globe, educators are introducing new and exciting technological tools to engage their…mrkempnz.com
This article has 4 subtopics that are valuable to consider. 1) Technology should not come before pedagogy 2) Technology should not be used a toy 3) Technology should not be used to fill in time 4) Technology should be utilized properly. I think that from time to time, we get hyped with trends and wants in technology versus the actual education. I, myself, am pretty guilty of this. However, as we move forward with education, effective education that is, educators must facilitate and teach in a way that will utilize technology not has a toy but as a tool. Whether it be a game-based learning, game design, collaborating in the cloud, digital storytelling, or video productions, technology is a tool not a toy.
From a presentation by the Project Red, the One to One Institute, they have studied the effectiveness of 1:1 devices around the nation. Here is the presentation: Vista Personalized Learning Project Red. In one of their key findings, they suggest that “Overall, 1:1 schools outperform all others.” I was estatic to see this but then the next slide was even more powerful. There is a difference between ‘Proper 1:1’ versus ‘all other 1:1’. And overall, ‘Proper 1:1’ proved to be much more effective in areas such as disciplinary action reduction, or dropout reduction rates. Check out the screenshot I took of the graph. The title of the slide was Proper Implementation Matters.
Further discussion in our committee takes us to what Proper Implementation means. The case studies suggest that it’s extremely important to provide CONTINUOUS professional development in using 1:1 devices not just a one time workshop. Now, thinking about teachers, we need to personalize these PDs for each individual teacher. Some teachers may need a mere suggestion and they will go and do the research and develop what works for their students. Some teachers, need a quick walk through whether it be a video format or face-to-face time with another colleague. And lastly some teachers, may need to see the effectiveness as it is being modeled and the rapport with the teacher will be extremely important to have here.
I see Project RED’s Proper Implementation of 1:1 Devices as being 3 tiered with ongoing PD:
1) A suggestive group (where teachers will go and explore themselves)
2) A model group (where teachers need a 1-time model or example and they can run with it)
3) A mentor group (where a 1:1 mentorship between a teacher and a tech coach is critically valuable)
Providing teachers with the most relevant, adaptive, ongoing Tech PD will allow them utilize the technology most effectively with kids. This will be a true 1:1 implementation.