Technology That Guides Learning

Using technology in the classroom

Flipping Your Classroom February 26, 2012

Every Wednesday during the school year our district participates in “Late Start Wednesdays”. This gives the district, and each individual school, a chance to discuss the current happenings, review testing data, or learn a new tool. This past Wednesday we had a colleague (Kathy) present to us all the new tools and gadgets she learned about at a recent eTech conference. While she mentioned several fun and innovative tools to use in the classroom, she also mentioned the idea of “flipping your classroom”. When I first saw this projected on the board, I thought to myself, oh, she must mean when you only use technology in the classroom and get rid of paper and pencils. I was excited to hear what she had to say because my recent Walden University class had mentioned this theory, and I am interested in working on this in the future. However, my assumptions were a little off.

What our colleague explained to us is that by flipping your classroom, you flip your instruction and homework. Kathy gave us the example of when the student is in the classroom, and the teacher is going over how to do a problem, the student thinks he understands it. But once he gets home to do the assigned homework, he all of the sudden has no idea how to do it anymore. By flipping your classroom, you assign your instruction (reading a chapter, reviewing a formula) to be done at home. Kathy even suggested assigning this work on a classroom Moodle (I’m still a little new to this web tool). The students can access the chapter needed to complete the instruction, then take that knowledge into the classroom the next day. Since the instruction was completed at home, the time spent in class is used to actually apply the new material. Rather than struggling to complete the assignment at home with no support, the students now apply their learning to the work done in the classroom. I think this concept could make the learning much more meaningful and certainly less stressfull to students and teachers alike.

My only questions is, if I can’t get a student to do homework now, then how do I assign instruction to be done at home? If my students don’t buy into the flipping, then the classroom remains like it was before. I’d love to hear suggestions on how to make this more of a reality.

I realize this isn’t necessarily a technology-that-guides-learning type of post, but it is an innovative way to structure a classroom. Plus, technology tools can definitely be incorporated to make it more technology-friendly.

I already mentioned using Moodle to assign work, but can you think of other tools that could make this classroom flipping more realistic?

(I thought the post needed more color. Thanks, Google Images!)




The end of the course… February 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emilypartyka @ 7:46 am

As this eight week’s course comes to an end, I now have the chance to reflect on what all I’ve learned. I think above all else, I have learned that most technology is not as daunting as it first appears. There were definitely some assignments that took longer to complete because it was my first time. However, in the end, I know it was just a learning curve, and if I were asked to complete the assignment again, I would have very little trouble. What I have also learned are all the different ways that these new (to me) technologies can be used in my classroom. While I was asked how I could implement different tools in my classroom, I also learned how others would implement theirs. I gathered some great ideas for what I can use, and I hope that I contributed to others’ plans as well. Lastly, I have learned how to better prepare my students for the 21st century skills. I need to break down any barriers that I may have in order to teach them the skills they need to compete in the world after graduation.

This course has really challenged me to shift my thinking of a teacher-centered classroom to that of a learner-centered classroom. Instead of the students constantly depending on me to push the lesson, I am learning to become more of a facilitator and letting the technology drive the lesson to where it can be. I realize that my position will not become obsolete, but I do see that in order for my students to become media literate, they need to be challenged to use higher-thinking skills and problem-solving skills in order to complete learner-centered tasks.

In order to continue to expand my knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology with the aim of increasing student achievement, I plan to incorporate meaningful technology into my plans. I think the more that I can expose myself and my students to these technologies, the better and more efficient my teaching and their learning will become. I have already created lesson plans that will include the different tools that we have learned throughout this course. Now, I need to continue planning with those in mind, as well as begin exploring other tools that are useful to my classroom.

Two goals that I’d like to set for myself in order to transform my classroom into a learner-centered environment as well as prepare my students for 21st-century skills are:

1)    In each quarter, plan to use three types of technology tools in order to teach the concept or for students to use in order to show their comprehension of the unit.

       a. I will accomplish this by becoming more comfortable with new technologies, as well as      planning enough ahead of time to reserve the technologies for my classroom.

2)    Incorporate more group-based learning in which students use higher-thinking skills and problem-solving skills with the use of technology.

       a. Plan for more group-based lessons and reserve the appropriate technology to use in my classroom.

Lastly, in the beginning of this course, we were asked to assess ourselves on how comfortable we feel with technology, as well as how often we use it. While my answers leaned mostly toward the ‘infrequently’ column, I feel that I am slowly making the shift to the ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ columns. I feel that I have the tools and skills to plan for these shifts, but at this point, it’s a matter of putting them into action. I think the beginning of the fourth quarter will be slightly easier for me to implement most of these tools as it will be a new set of standards that we are focusing on. I think next year I will be much more comfortable with creating the plans using technology as I will have a better grasp of how I can integrate it. I look forward to when incorporating technology becomes like second nature to me, and I think my students will appreciate it too!


My First Podcast February 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — emilypartyka @ 3:49 pm
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This week’s assignment was to create a podcast dealing with the ever-changing student in today’s society with regards to technology. I asked three of my students a variety of questions, such as how much they use different types of technology and how much technology they use in the classroom. My podcast reveals that only a few types of technologies are being used within the classrooms, as well as at the homes of my students. With this new information, I hope to create lessons that will expose them to newer tools so they will be better prepared for life after graduation. Enjoy my podcast here!