Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Reflection on Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education

I created this blog webpage to fulfill an assignment for my graduate school course EDUC 6710: Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work and Society at Walden University. Before I began this course, I had a pretty good understanding of how much of a positive impact technology has had on our education, our work and our society today. I realized that as a member of the 21st century, technology has had an enormous impact on how we conduct our daily lives and it has become an integral part of everything we do. However, as I continued my studies throughout this course, I realized that technology has been successfully integrated into our work and society, but not as much into our public school systems. It is very disappointing that our students on average have more access to technology outside of school than they do within their classroom learning environments.

There are many reasons why technology is not as prominent in our school systems as it is in our society, such as lack of funding, lack of teacher training and support as well as a lack of teacher initiative within the classrooms. However, I believe the biggest obstacles inhibiting technology into our classroom learning environments are the educators themselves. I believe many educators shy away from integrating technology into their classrooms because they do not fully understand the positive impact it has on student learning. If more educators professionally developed themselves into learning how technology can impact student learning, then I believe we would see a greater number of schools and classrooms excited about the integration of technology. As expressed by Dr. Hall (2008), teachers would see that teaching and learning with technology can be fun and rejuvenating for both the teachers as well as the students. Dr. Hall (2008) also says that many teachers who have used technology in their lessons have seen positive outcomes in their classrooms, it has restored their joy of teaching, and it has given students an opportunity to express themselves in new ways. I am grateful that this course has helped me to clearly see and understand technology’s powerful impact on our students’ learning today.

As an educator, my goal is to increase students’ learning and achievement by integrating technology into curriculum. According to Dr. Thornburg (2008), many of our students today are digital natives because technology has shaped the way they learn and it has reinforced their thinking styles. As an educator, I will use technology as a tool to help our digital native students thrive in the 21st century. I will also use technology to help our digital immigrant students develop a new way of thinking and enhance their use of technology as a way to improve their problem solving and critical thinking skills. I will use the web 2.0 tools that I have learned about from this course such as blogs, podcasts, wiki pages and media streaming as an opportunity to challenge myself, both now and in the future, and implement new ways for my students to create and share their learning.

Within two years, I hope to have an established class webpage where students can regularly post podcast episodes that demonstrate concepts we’ve learned in school. We will use this student–designed webpage as another form of communication to our parents that would provide them with a window of opportunity to see what great things we are learning within our classroom. I hope that parents and students would use this webpage to also blog about the various podcasts submitted by providing positive feedback and reinforcement for student learning and growth. I plan to use our school’s media specialist, our tech support personnel and the support from my grade level team to help me reach my goals of developing an interactive class webpage and posting regular podcasts throughout the school year. I look forward to seeing these goals transform our classroom into an exciting learning environment where technology has will allow parents, students and teachers to communicate with each other on an entirely new level and enhance our ways of thinking about school and learning within the 21st century.


Thornburg, D., & Davidson, H. (2008). Bringing the Fun into Teaching with Technology. [DVD]. Laureate Education, Inc.

Thornburg, D., & Davidson, H. (2008). Debate: Digital natives vs. digital immigrants. [DVD]. Laureate Education, Inc.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Profiling Students of Today

I provided a brief questionnaire to my second grade students about how much exposure to technology they believe they have at home on a daily basis. I also asked them several questions about how computers are helpful to them at school and whether it could help promote their learning. Finally, I allowed some students to record their responses of how they would like to use technology in our classroom.

I was very impressed by their responses and extremely surprised that all of my students said they had computers at home and a large majority of them also had access to the internet.  I was extremely relieved to discover that their families were in the right direction towards helping them become successful members of the 21st century. 

Just to give you a brief overview of my students, I have 19 seven and eight year olds in my classroom.  There are 9 boys and 10 girls in my class.  I also have 3 Indian students, 4 Caucasian students, 5 Hispanic students, 5 African American students, and 2 Asian students.  My class is pretty well diverse, but they all seem to have the love of learning with the use of technology in common.  This is one area where race and gender does not seem to matter and it truly holds no bearing on how excited they are about integrating technology within the classroom. 

Finally, this was my first time ever creating a podcast as well as my first time using audacity to create voice recordings.  While I was extremely nervous about this experience, I must say my students were beaming with excitement.  They all wanted to have the opportunity to hear their voices being recorded and it made me realize that even the simplest things with technology can make them happy.  At my school, every year classes are encouraged to submit a media festival project and I have decided to create a podcast with my entire class through reader's theatre.  I think this will be a great experience for not only my students to enjoy, but for other classes to enjoy and learn from as well.