In my first blog post, I suggested two parts to my research and project. I spent a considerable amount of time digging around for articles about the technology in classrooms debate. My initial reason for digging deeper stemmed from several colleagues who are very wary of introducing technology in the younger primary grades. But, I was getting quite frustrated as I seemed to find only the “pro” side of the debate.
Part 1: The ‘Technology in the Classroom’ Debate
My search for resources began by looking through the university library database. I started with the keywords “technology”, “classroom” and “benefits” I was curious to see if I could dig up any journal articles that were for/against using technology within the classroom. I am a firm believer that technology should enhance learning and teaching, but should not be simply a substitute. A few articles caught my attention but would need further investigation as I only read the abstracts and skimmed the articles. I am still searching for a few that contradict and speak against having technology in primary (or elementary classrooms).
Aktay, Sayim1. “The Effect Of The Internet On The Quality Of Education In Primary Schools.” International Journal Of Learning 15.4 (2008): 81-87. Education Source. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Colwell, Jamie1 and Amy Hutchison. “Supporting Teachers In Integrating Digital Technology Into Language Arts Instruction To Promote Literacy.” Journal Of Digital Learning In Teacher Education (Routledge) 31.2 (2015): 56-63. Education Source. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Fekonja-Peklaj, Urška1, and Ljubica1 Marjanovič-Umek. “Positive And Negative Aspects Of The IWB And Tablet Computers In The First Grade Of Primary School: A Multiple-Perspective Approach.” Early Child Development & Care 185.6 (2015): 996-1015. Education Source. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Javorsky, Kristin and Guy Trainin. “Teaching Young Readers To Navigate A Digital Story When Rules Keep Changing.” Reading Teacher 67.8 (2014): 606-618. Education Source. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Perez, Lisa1. “Re-Imagine Your Library With Ipads.” Learning & Leading With Technology 40.6 (2013): 22-25. Education Source. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Spence, Ryan, and Tori Smullen. “Future Reading: Using Technology In The Classroom.” Practically Primary 19.2 (2014): 28-31. Education Source. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
In reaching out to colleagues via social media, I uncovered the following article from the Globe and Mail titled “Computers in classroom have ‘mixed’ impact on learning: OECD report”. In the tweet, the statement ‘Technology is a tool for good teachers, rather than a magic want for bad ones…’ certainly caught my eye.
Part 2: Resources for Colleagues
As I envision what might be the best platform for my final project, I have been mulling around the idea of creating a website in which teachers can access information to help implement and integrate technology effectively into their classrooms and could share success stories and struggles of lessons. Since a small part of my role this year is ‘teacher support with technology’, I hoped to create a user-friendly place for colleagues to access lesson ideas or suggestions.
One example of how this could be used came about last week. On Thursday, I gave a workshop for the Educational Support Services staff to introduce them to the basics of the Smart Board and to demonstrate ideas of how to use it within their lessons. As part of this, I encouraged the staff to start small and set a goal of using the Smart Board once/week. As a few have limited technological skills, I was afraid of scaring them off or overwhelming them. I encouraged them to try things out for the next four weeks and then we could re-convene to review a few skills and share what worked well. Although I have already made a shared folder on our school’s server with my Smart Board lessons, I thought it would be really helpful if the ESS staff would access, use and add to this folder.
To expand on this idea of a central place for shared resources, I started digging to find resources for digital tools to use in the classroom and lesson ideas. I reached out to the following places:
- my own notes from the various workshops I attended at the ISTE conference in July
- Twitter: Victoria Olsen and Josh Stumpenhorst (I attended both of their workshops at ISTE)
- ISTE discussion groups
Wouldn’t it be great to compile a list of helpful websites, apps and digital tools for staff to access? I often feel frustrated that I have not developed a way to organize the huge list of ideas that comes my way. When a colleague recommends something, I think “I need to write that down and try it”. But, those excellent ideas and suggestions are often lost. So, my search for the most helpful resources continues!