As part of my teaching assignment this year, I have been allotted one block each week to support teachers integrate technology into their classes. In the spring, I completed my Master of Arts in Curriculum and Foundation Instruction. The topic of my thesis was “Development of Teacher Expertise with Interactive Whiteboards: A Collaborative Inquiry using Grounded Theory”. My favourite part of my research was developing and conducting a series of workshops to help teachers develop confidence with using their SmartBoards. I can’t wait to again collaborate with colleagues to see how we can explore the use of digital technologies in a variety of ways. I have always held the view that ‘many heads are better than one’! Although I love learning new things in technology and finding creative ways to integrate these skills in my classroom, I am passionate about using technology as a tool for learning and not simply as a way to fill time. A clear purpose for the activity or lesson must be identified before introducing technology.
My school is currently a K-7 elementary school, but we are poised to begin a building project for a new high school. To prepare for this change in our physical building as well as preparing for the expansion of our curriculum to include grades 8-12, we realize the importance of providing staff training in the area of technology. At this point, my focus will be the teachers and educational assistants in grades 3-7. Through my project, I hope to create a digital resource that could introduce new ideas to staff to offer support as they seek to incorporate technology safely and effectively into their classrooms. Ideally, I see this as a working, living document that could be added to regularly by all of the staff.
A few of the key concepts I was hoping to explore include:
1. introduction to the pros and cons of technology in schools (I would like to explore a few articles that debate this argument)
2. research skills with technology
3. educational apps and suggestions for use in the classroom
4. ideas for using our school’s existing technology (Smart Boards, computers on wheels)
A link to my thesis: Yvonne’s Thesis from SFU