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.