EdTech 541 Vision Statement

Edtech 541 Vision Statement – Week 2 Reflection

As an educator, the most important question you should ask yourself is, “What do my students need to learn?” This simple question should drive your entire curriculum and lesson planning throughout the course.  After affirming the goals set for your students, your instructional approach should reflect the best possible way to help students achieve these objectives.  According to Roblyer and Doering (2013), “planning must always begin with this question: What specific needs do my students and I have that (any given resources) can help meet?” (p. 10).  Technology should enhance the learning process and should be integrated carefully and purposefully.  The first phase of the technology integration planning (TIP) model for teachers emphasizes that classroom problems and technology based solutions should be analyzed prior to implementation (Roblyer and Doering, 2013, p.55).  Basically, technology tools should be used to meet the educational objectives, not out of a requirement or the novelty of using it. Technology implementation should be seamless and intuitive for both teacher and students alike (Edutopia, 2007).

It is a common misconception that all these advancements in technology make a classroom teacher less valuable or necessary. Roblyer and Doering (2013) summarize important points that have been learned throughout the history of educational technology and conclude that “Teachers always will be more important than technology” (p.10). Teachers who understand the role technology plays in education are crucial. “Teaching is a complex combination of what teachers know about their content, how they decide to teach that content, and the tools they use to carry out their plans” (Roblyer and Doering, 2013, p. 53).  Thus, it is up to the teacher which technology tool should be used to create meaningful and effective instruction. This means that teachers should constantly be learning about the available technological resources and be willing to change teaching methods and materials as needed.  A good teacher will strive to incorporate technology to help meet the needs and challenges of teaching difficult subjects, to engage and motivate 21st century students and instill invaluable life skills in students.

Often teachers get asked by students, “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” The truth is that not all students will need to know the detailed history of the French Revolution or the plot of A Tale of Two Cities or how to solve a quadratic equation. However, life skills that students gain from school such as problem solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning, communication, creativity and collaboration are vital to a student’s future success (Partnership, 2009).  In order to grasp these “learning to learn” skills and prepare themselves for a successful future, students need to be literate in using technology, analyzing information, and interpreting communication media (Roblyer and Doering, 2013, p.26). The need to teach students these 21st century skills is why it is so important to integrate technology into the learning process.  Students in the 21st century live in a world where they easily have “access to an abundance of information, experience rapid changes in technology tools, and possess the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale” (Partnership, 2009). Thus, it has never been more important to implement technology in the classroom. We cannot expect our students to be prepared for the future if we do not embrace the use of technology. Technology has revolutionized school and the way that students learn; it just has to be implemented effectively and seamlessly to achieve this potential.

Edutopia. (2007). Technology Integration Professional Development Guide. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from http://www.p21.org/about-us/p21-framework

Roblyer, M.D. and Doerling, A.H. (2012). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th Ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

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6 Responses to EdTech 541 Vision Statement

  1. Marci, I am glad that you brought up the important point that technology should be integrated into instruction because it improves the learning process, and not because of novelty. The step of determining relative advantage as part of the Technology Integration Planning model seems useful for evaluating technologies and identifying those that will have a meaningful impact on solving instructional problems.

  2. Rebecca Muller says:

    Hi Marci! Your vision statement made me think of a quote, “Technology will never replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will replace those who don’t!” unknown
    I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that integrating technology for your students and lessons should be well thought out and purposeful, not just fluff. I’ve read that using or integrating technology doesn’t mean to play on an app. That is just like replacing a worksheet for skill and drill on a device. I also agree that the life skills you wrote about needs to be taught using technology so that we engage our students to be life-long thinkers and empower them to create what the next 20 years will look like in regards to technology and education. The TIP model is something that can be very useful for educators as well as students.

  3. jwbrunken says:

    I appreciate your focus on the need for teachers in the learning process, even when new technologies are employed. Your final paragraph was the most powerful for me. While you did well summarizing a lot about what technology integration is from the textbook in your first two paragraphs, it was in your final paragraph where I got a good idea of why you feel technology integration is needed. For me, I run into a lot of teachers who through up their hands and say, “I don’t know anything about this technology stuff” and then continue on with “how they’ve always done it.” Sometimes these are the people we need to sit down and show them just how they rob their students when they err on “how they always have done it.”

  4. Nicole Gaylin says:

    I really enjoyed how you used the quotes from your sources to really build up a powerful statement. Your introduction was my favorite part and really drew me in. It is very important to keep in mind what the students need and want as you’re planning for their education.

    Very nice vision statement!

  5. Dan Schafer says:

    Marci,
    I too discussed the point the author’s of our text offered on p.10: teachers are still more important than the technology. In fact, it reminded me of something a colleague said to me the other day. He is a private instructor for upright and electric bass at all levels and he said that while he can go online and look at any youtube video showing him how to play a song on bass, it will never be the same as having a professional teacher next to him giving him live feedback while he is actually playing that same piece. There will always be value for a face-to-face (or facetime to facetime) interaction. Thank you for posting your thoughts in a very succinct way!

  6. mrdeissler says:

    I love the point where you discuss the students and how they always ask when they’ll use this stuff. The problem solving and analytical skills they learn are necessary for anybody in the work force. It was really well said!

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