I believe that it is pivotal, as a 21st Century educator, to constantly work to truly incorporate technology in the classroom. Technology opens so many doors for a plethora of students. When used correctly, tech has the opportunity to really extend the learning of students to heights never-before imagined. It’s important to note that technology shouldn’t just be used on a basic level as a way to “check” a standards box.
As stated previously, technology should be used in a way that extends student learning in ways that weren’t possible in years past. In order to do this, educators should reflect on their student’s tech use in conjunction with the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards, and even deeper, with the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM). The ISTE standards are a great framework that help provide teachers with the knowledge of what proper tech integration looks like for both their students and themselves. As an educator, I will constantly reflect on my practice in comparison with those standards. Additionally, the TIM is a resource that should be readily utilized, as it provides several ways that tech integration goes from entry to transformation.
Aside from extending the learning of students, I truly believe that technology makes learning possible for many kids. Assistive Technologies make accommodations possible for students with disabilities. I think it’s important to stay current on all of these technologies, and to be open in communication with para-professionals and institutions like SWAAC, who provide reliable resources and support for students with disabilities. In this way, I don’t think we should ever shy away from integrating these technologies with students, as it is merely a form of differentiation in order to provide the best learning experience for all students.
Over the course of my Educ 331 class at Colorado State University, I was exposed to many of these resources and technologies. In that same respect, I have become much more open-minded in my beliefs about technology’s place in the classroom. Before, I had a very old-fashioned mindset: I thought technology was merely a distraction and an excuse for modern students to not think on their own. But, now I have realized that technology, when used in conjunction to the resources above, can be so influential in the educations of so many kids. It’s also important to note, that I plan to learn as much as possible from my future students in order to keep up with as many trends as possible-they are the masters of tech.
Yet, I still have so many things to learn. Between now, and when I enter a classroom of my own, I hope to continue pushing myself to stay current on new technologies. I will also work to refine my use of so many of the tech resources that I have learned about this year: Google Classroom, FlipGrid, Weebly, Mindomo, Schoology, etc. As I continue through the teaching program at CSU, I will continue to observe how current educators are integrating tech into their classrooms, and will challenge myself to use it when I have opportunities to teach.
We live in a world filled with incredible technologies. Education has the opportunity to be something it never has been before, if educators are willing to implement it in ways that foster adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation (TIM).