Sunday, December 27, 2009


Over the course of the last eight weeks, I have been engaged in the learning and creation of various technological advancements that can be incorporated into the classroom, involved in discussions on the rationale for why technology should be brought to students of today, and active in considering various expert standpoints on how and why technology has a place in modern classrooms. As Marc Prensky has outlined, the students that we encounter in the classroom these days are digital natives (Prensky, 2001). These students are well versed and well practiced in technology and spend a great deal of their out-of-school time using technology (McHale, 2005) (November, 2007). This class has opened doors to help me realize not only the need to bring technology and 21st Century skills to the classroom (Laureate, 2008), but the ways and means to provide these innovations to the classroom through the information provided by Richardson (2009).

Upon entering this class, I considered myself relatively skilled in navigating technology. I regularly used wikis, used online resources for entertainment and references, read blogs, maintained an RSS feed, used social media daily, engaged in online chats, made purchases and paid bills online, sourced the internet through my mobile phone, communicated by e-mail and uploaded photographs. Despite my regular, even heavy, use of technology, most of my interactions were one sided. During this course, I was able to expand my reader to incorporate more education based feeds and become an active part of the online education community. After creating a blog for the class, I developed a level of comfort with blogging and started a classroom blog and a personal blog. My enthusiasm for blogging has reached my coworkers and I will soon be teaching a professional development course for my colleagues on setting up, maintaining and reaching students through blogs. I was able to collaborate with my classmates to create a wiki on the various blogs we had discovered to provide a resource for one another and beyond. Though my initial attempts at bringing a wiki into my classroom was not warmly received, I feel that I have a strong baseline of understanding of wikis such that I will be able to bring them into my regular classroom instruction in the future with better success.

Undoubtedly, my greatest pleasure and success with new technology incorporation has been with blogging. My classroom blog has been met with enthusiasm from my students, my administration and my colleagues. I have found opportunities for incorporating video tutorials, providing homework assignments and attachments, fun challenges and links to games that reinforce the concepts that I am teaching in my curriculum. I believe that this avenue will allow me to engage and motivate my students in a way that will maximize both their learning and enjoyment (Prensky, 2005) (Laureate, 2008). Though there is a wealth of research and writing backing up the efficacy of dynamic incorporation of technology and 21st Century skills, the enthusiasm and interaction that I see from my students is sufficient proof for the merits of my efforts.

I hope to continue to expand my knowledge of technology by continuing to explore what is available. I have been active in participating in online communities about education and technology. Blogs such as the Blue Skunk Blog and David Warlick’s 2₵ Blog for education, and technology blogs like Lifehacker keep me apprised of new developments and technologies for the classroom. My own exploration of blog creation has enabled me to bring multimedia to my page and expand its reach via the use of links to other online resources. In order to improve my knowledge and understanding of wikis, I need to further investigate the wiki work of other educators. Currently, my knowledge and expertise with wikis is limited and I would like to see more of their potential in action from the postings of fellow educators. Understanding the potential of wikis will better enable me to find ways to best incorporate their usefulness in my classroom.

My long-term goals for the further incorporation of technology in my classroom are to maintain and improve my blog and to bring technology-based lessons to my classroom. The first goal of further developing the blog is limitless. I see potential for increased student interaction via the use of required comments, a platform for starting webquests, and a space for me to post podcasts and videos. Though I feel I have created a template and online home for myself and my students that is relatively well established, I see that the possibilities for improving the page and moving beyond the basic set up that I have established are expansive. This technology can be part of every day by bringing the class instruction and curriculum beyond the walls of the classroom and creates a better understanding of the content via the “hands-on” interaction in the medium that our students are best versed in (Nussbaum-Beach, 2008). I will meet this goal by remaining highly active in developing and improving my blog with various multimedia components and networking with other bloggers and educators. “Anytime, anywhere” is the notion that technology is omnipresent and a blog allows me to be one of the influences that my students can turn to (Friedman, 2005) (Laureate, 2008).

The second goal may be harder to achieve, but I feel will have a greater impact on the full education of my students. I would like to use technology in my classroom on a more regular basis. Be it the use of the Smartboard, computers in the classroom for research, power-point presentations and/or wiki creation for content review, I feel that the more that I do with technology in my instruction, the more the curriculum will come alive for my students and be relevant to their lives. Students will need technology skills when they enter the workforce and the 21st Century skills of working together and communicating with people all over the world (Friedman, 2005) (Hof, 2007). By including various elements of technological offerings like online chats and communications, and students posting their learnings, the children will be able to work in the medium that they are best versed in. Though complications and difficulties due to resources and funding do exist in fulfilling this goal, part of my personal goal will include being an advocate for the use and incorporation of technology in our district. My hope is that I will be able to bring various elements of technology into my regular classroom instruction such that my students do not see technology in school as a discrete event that happens occasionally, rather as a common and customary means for acquiring knowledge.

Throughout this course, I have been able toward the creation side of technological advancements that benefit education. Previously I sought out information and resources through technology, but now I feel well versed in providing and distributing knowledge online. I have read and processed the rationale presented by experts on why the incorporation of technology is necessary for today’s students and I have learned how to access, create and improve resources online to benefit my students. Most importantly though, my enthusiasm for technology is heightened and I am excited to bring technology to my students. As Dr. Thornburg said, “Learning is a human craft and a human task” (Laureate, 2008). I am happy and excited to be a human teacher with a strong interest in technology.


Friedman, T. (2005, April 3). It's a flat world, after all. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Hof, R. (2007, August 20). The end of work as you know it.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). 2008. Skills for the 21st Century [Motion picture]. Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. Baltimore: Author.

McHale, T. (2005). Portrait of a digital native. Technology & Learning. Retrieved from

November, A. (2007). Banning student 'containers'. Technology & Learning. Retrieved from

Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008). No Limits. Technology & Learning, 28(7), 14–18. Retrieved from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5).

Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the Natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8–13.

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
(2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment