Technology: The Illuminator
If my enthusiasm for technology matched my proficiency level in all of the ISTE NETS performance indicators, I would be satisfied with my competency in effectively promoting 21st century learning skills. Understanding the power of technology to motivate and engage students, I must develop the competency to seamlessly integrate these tools into my daily lessons. In order to refine my skills following the ISTE NETS for Teachers (ISTE NETS n.d.) (2a) in designing or adapting learning experiences that incorporate digital tools, I will follow the following G(oals), A(ction), M(onitor) and E(valuate) plan as recommended by Cennamo, Ross, and Ertmer (2009). Through my Walden journey, I have had the opportunity to preview a multitude of technology tools that are motivating, engaging and challenging. Digital storytelling, wikis, blogs, and voice threads are just a few of the versatile tools that would easily support the English language arts standards. Acknowledging my lack of confidence in using these tools seamlessly, I will preview a tutorial on each tool, practice the process using a tutorial, and prepare to model the steps for my students in creating these products. (Cennamo et. al., 2009). Before presenting the initial lesson, I will ask for a peer review to critique my lesson plan and provide guidance for improvement. After presenting my lesson, through journal writing, I will assess my own progress in using technology effectively to support student learning, I will reflect on the experience with each tool, identifying the highlights as well as the possible pitfalls that might be troublesome for my students and make adjustments along the way. Finally, at the conclusion of each lesson, I will evaluate my success using a self designed rubric. It will include an evaluation (1-4) of my proficiency with the studied tools, a short narrative on student engagement and work samples to demonstrate student performance. As a follow-up activity, I will ask the students to submit personal response to pre-designed questions to assist me in future planning. In addition, I plan to survey my staff to identify teachers using these tools and observe how they use these tools to teach the standards.
Marc Prensky (2009) explains that kids today already have reservoirs of knowledge from their numerous connections to the world. It is our job as educators to design lessons that use, build on, and strengthen that knowledge. At my school, our seasoned teachers are resistant to extend beyond their traditional instructional practice. ISTE NETS for teachers performance indicator 5d describes the importance of contributing to the vitality and self-renewal of the teaching profession (ISTE NETS, n.d.). This year I have developed a GAME plan to begin to methodically introduce 21st century skills and the integration of technology tools into our standards based instruction. I am fortunate that one of our teachers is willing to risk a co-teaching format in which we will collaboratively plan to use technology tools to acknowledge our students learning preferences and teach to their interest. We will plan our lessons and then release our roll as providers of information and take on the job as explainers, context providers and meaning makers of information (Prensky, 2009). Additionally, as part of this process, we will monitor the effectiveness of our teaching through formal and informal formative assessment. At the conclusion of each unit, we will reflect on the effectiveness of our lessons relying on student observation, reflective journal writing, (both our students and our own) surveys, and our students products. This will be my first attempt to infuse 21st century skills into a very professional, yet sedentary staff. Recognizing my own enthusiasm for this “not business as usual” plan for instruction, I can’t help but feel that using technology tools to foster critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and collaboration will be contagious and “turn the lights on” for both students and my staff (Prensky, 2009, p45).
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful
classroom use: A standards-based approach: Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.
ISTE | NETS for Teachers. (n.d.). ISTE | Membership, NETS Standards, Books, Journals and Professional Development for Teachers. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from
Prensky, M. "Turning on the lights." Education Leadership Mar. 2008: 40-45.