Blooms Digital TaxonomyBlooms Digital Taxonomy

What are the issues we need to address when using technology in the classroom?

Links to Technology Education Standards
8 Things to Consider Before Using Technology
Student Safety
Questioning Sources
The Evolution of Technology
Social Networking
Exceptional Students and Technology
Cell Phones
Are students becoming too dependent on technology?


Helpful Links

4Teachers
This is a great website for all your teaching with technology needs. Explore teacher success stories, teaching strategies, assessments, and various technology tools by following the provided links. This website will surely assist you in discovering new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom.
Center for Teaching History with Technology
A great place for Social Studies teachers, this website provides tool that allow you to create lessons, have discussions, and plan assessments. This website is specifically tailored to teaching history with the assistance of technology.

Links to Technology Education Standards

Standards for Technological Literacy http://www.iteaconnect.org/TAA/Publications/TAA_Publications.html
Cross reference for Show Me Standards and Stardards for Technological Literacy http://www.dese.mo.gov/divcareered/TechEd/Curriculum_Guide_Show-Me_Standards_Cross-walk.pdf
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8 Things to Consider Before Using Technology

1. Patience is key: Technology is a great tool to teach and to learn; however, it takes time to learn. Just as you, the teacher, may struggle to grasp new technology, students will have trouble and need time. One misconception teachers might have when it comes to using technology as a learning tool is that "every" student is technology savvy, like all subjects, some students may catch on quicker than others. If you allow them ample time and guidance while they learn new technology, they will be less likely to give up on it.

2. Student's Prior Knowledge: It's very important to remember there may be some students who aren't as educated with technology. While two-thirds of the class may already know the information or may catch on very quickly, others may struggle. Be sure to allow adequate time for the students who may not grasp new technology and newer information as quickly.

3. Availability of Computers at School and Home: Are school computers available for student use outside of class? Not all students will have a computer at home, therefore, it is important to allow enough time for students to complete the assignments during class if they do not have access after school. Also, many students will struggle with new technology even if they do have a home computer, so it is best for the teacher to be present to answer questions while they are learning.

4. Is the technology effective, appropriate, and purposeful?: When incorporating technology in a classroom, the teacher must first ask themselves if the technology makes the instruction more effective. Use the internet as a tool and not as something to just past the time. Keep the purpose/goal in mind. Why are we using the technology? How does it relate to the subject matter? Does it help or not? Teachers must keep in mind when planning lessons that technology should enhance the lesson, not take the place of teaching.

5. Accountability and Safety: We (the teachers) need to be aware of what the students are viewing when using the internet. Teachers must pay attention to what the students are doing on computers to eliminate the chance of them finding a pornographic or other inappropriate website. Students need to only access websites the teacher has pre-approved. A way of doing this would be through links from a homepage. Access to web quests or software programs, designed to coincide with the curriculum, would be the type of computer work elementary students can safely enjoy. High school and middle school levels may do research on the computer if blocking software is in place to prevent viewing inappropriate sites.

6. Accessibility: Access to certain areas of the web can be frustrating in any school setting. One week the administrative may allow a site and then two weeks later block it. This is not only time consuming for some, but also a headache for others. Teachers plan lessons around certain websites, and when they go to present it, often times they are unable to get to them because they have been blocked. This seems to be a simple problem, but it will take the cooperation of both the teachers and the administrators.

7. Ethical Use: Availability of answers for students is a main concern about technology. If students type in classic math problems into any internet search engine, they will find answers and the work associated with the problem. Such ease of access to answers will reduce the amount of thinking that a student uses and lead to poor test results both on in class tests and state exams. Teachers need to make sure that students are doing their own work on homework assignments either by making slight adjustments to the problems or finding a way to enforce a rule of no internet research on class assignments.

8. Classroom Management: When considering technology teachers must remember that an increase in technology means that one must hone their skills of classroom management. Technology can sometimes provide as a doorway to distractions, glitches and these both affect classroom management. i think that the risks are worth it though, lessons are more engaging because of technology, and this will increase the overall performance of both the students and the teacher.
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Student Safety

I feel that technology can be extremely beneficial to the learning experience of students. Of course, students need to be careful when using the technology available. I will be teaching Spanish, and I feel that the use of Smart Boards, internet, and other various technology driven activities will help my students stay interested and learn the material in more ways than just chalkboard exercises. Since there are certain dangers that accompany these new technologies that we see so frequently in the classroom, it is important to communicate to your students how to use the technology, the rules for the classroom, and what is expected of them. There should also be a discipline plan formed so that students will follow the rules. Some forms of technology can be scary if used the wrong way, such as the Internet. I feel that it is awesome for students to be able to surf the net and find out different things on Hispanic culture, grammar, places to travel in Latin America, etc. But if students stumble into an area that could be dangerous for them, that is when the issue of technology being allowed in the classroom comes up. As long as I, the teacher, responsibly monitors the class, lays down the rules, and doesn't leave the students completely on their own while on the Internet, then I feel the situation can be handled and the students can learn.
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Questioning? Sources?

Many of the students we will have in our future classrooms will be using the Internet as a research tool. It is our responsibility as teachers to make sure these students know how to critically evaluate a web site's credibility, expertise, biases, and accuracy. Students are often inclined to take what they read on the Internet at face value without further evaluation. Teaching students about the absence of editors, expert review, and fact checking on many websites is the first step in enforcing why evaluating a website is important. Then, giving students a simple checklist, such as this , to evaluate websites can teach them a simple way to check for red flags. These simple skills will be something students can use time and again and will help them throughout their education. Students could be given an assignment that deals with internet sources, one factual and one questionable, to show them the difference, and to prove to them that the questionable sources exist.
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The Evolution of Technology

Throughout most of the 20th century, technology played an almost non-existent role in homes all over America. It wasn't until the last decade of the 20th century that millions of households around the country actually owned personal computers. Now in the 21st century, it is stereotypical for every household to have at least one personal computer. Computers and technology overall plays a pivotal role in the way our country and world functions. The sad thing when pertaining to education in America, is that students as young as nine or ten have just as much or more understanding on how to use technology in their classroom than their teacher. Learning how to effectively use technology in the classroom will better engage the students to learn which in the long run, will prove to be beneficial for a student's overall education. The days of overhead projectors are in the past. Today we as educators must keep up with the changing of times. Today, there are Smart Boards and PowerPoint presentations. What will be the norm in the future? No matter what lies ahead, hopefully the educators of America will be neck in neck with the rapid speed of technological advancements for learning.

Implementing technology is extremely important, especially with our evolving society. Everything seems to be done using technology. The standardized format for school papers is typed, not handwritten. Now people use e-mails, blogs, Facebook, and cell phones. These are all used for communication now; very rarely does a person receive a hand written letter. One major purpose of education is to educate students on how to become successful in the future. With advancements in technology and the increased use of a variety of technology, it is absolutely necessary to implement technology in the classroom. However, many considerations must be made when computers are used to complete an assignment. Although some households have multiple computers, others have none. Therefore, it is important to give students an ample amount of classroom time to complete assignments. This will also allow students to ask questions in relation to software. I understand the countless benefits and the importance of using technology, but I also feel that it is important to not overuse technology in the classroom. Students still need to practice writing, because of the added benefits of hand-eye coordination. In addition, many of today's students are absolutely horrible with spelling because of the extremely useful "spell check" offered on the computer, which should be cautioned because it is not always correct.
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Social Networking

Other issues that might surface are those dealing with personal website accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter. Future teachers must really be careful with the information and pictures they leave on these personal accounts. Don't have racy, crude pictures with cursing and inappropriate comments. My advice is to delete these accounts when job searching to eliminate any issue that might arise. Especially since many high school and elementary students are now using these accounts as well and may have access to information about you that you are not willing to share. There have been a lot of reports on the news lately about teachers getting into trouble due to the information that they have posted on their social networking sites. Again it would be smart for future teachers to be aware before posting anything on their personal pages. It may even be smart to make profiles private or again delete them altogether before job searching.
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Exceptional Students and Technology

Much of technology is also helpful for our students with special needs. Students who in the past struggled with standardized education have been greatly affected by the many new programs that have been created. This is a great way to integrate needs that are established in an IEP. For example, think about the students with ADHD and how allowing them to get up and manipulate with the Smart Board has helped them.
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Cell Phones

Technology is great, but has been taking some heat lately in the local news. The topic was cell phones: "Are they necessary for students in school?". Many members of the community that were interviewed seemed to think not; students could use the school phone for emergencies, etc. But others thought they were necessary for students who were involved in after-school programs to have. What do you think?

I love my cell phone. I don't have a land line anymore. But, no, I do not think cell phones are necessary. I grew up with both of my parents often busy with hectic schedules while I was involved in extra curricular activities and I did just fine without a cell phone. I think that they are distractions in the classroom and can lead to management problems. Most schools have phones in the classroom (at least most I have seen do) that can dial to an outside line. I also think sometimes parents can be part of the problem. One student at a school I was observing got his cell phone confiscated and took a day of suspension for the offense (this school has a zero tolerance policy). It was the his mother calling him DURING SCHOOL!!!! That is what the office is for. Those very nice ladies can deliver messages to your children for you.

While it's not a default feature on most cell phone plans, the four major carriers of cell phones in the United States (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) all have a feature that allows you to regulate your child's phone use during certain times of the day. These limit features allow parents to log online and set which times during the day the child can call, and WHO they can call, so that you can customize the amount of freedom the phone gives them. You can have it set so that the phone will ALWAYS be able to make calls to mom or dad (for emergencies), but only to friends from 3:00pm to 10:00pm (out of school and bedtime), and can even designate the number of minutes per day that can be used. AT&T calls it "Smart-Limits," and Verizon calls it "My-Verizon," but the programs are pretty much standardized across all carriers at around $5 per month. AT&T makes phones for children that are very restrictive. The Fly phones and Vivi phones only allow children to call four numbers. Parents like them because the child can be monitored on who they call, how long the call lasts, and when they make the phone calls.

I am a huge fan of my cell phone, having grown up in the era where cell phones were a common place, and it is odd when someone does not have one, I understand what the benefits are for having one. But using your cell phone to text or play games during school is inappropriate. It is not only rude to the teacher or professor, but also to those other students in class that you may be disrupting. If a cell phone ever rang in my classroom, I think that it is completely in my realm of power to take the phone and keep it until the end of the class day, or turn it in to the office, whatever the school rules on cell phones are. If there is an emergency that someone must absolutely be able to get a hold of the student, there are school phone lines that can be called, it does not need to be to a students personal phone. I also think that in some cases people are becoming too dependent on technology and are not being held accountable for as much information as may be necessary. When I was teaching this semester, a lot of the students could not even recite the first ten multiples of numbers such as six and nine. These are things that would be useful in everyday life, not just as a math teacher. Times tables are something that should be learned in grade school, so by the time they get to high school, they should not even have to think twice when asked those questions, but every year, more and more students are wanting to use a calculator just to simply add, subtract, multiply, and divide simple problems.
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Are students becoming too dependent on technology?

Everyone seems to rely on spell checker and calculators; is this good or bad?

Although students can get carried away using calculators and spell checker, I believe that they immensely benefit today's schoolwork. In the Math classroom, calculators allow lessons to be taught faster and units to be completed sooner because there is less time spent doing calculations. The three minutes it used to take to do a complicated problem on paper is now trimmed down to thirty seconds on the calculator. Likewise, instead of spending time editing their English papers, students can click spell check and quickly fix their paper and turn it in. Although some people argue that students need to do these things in their heads, the students are simply utilizing the technology that is available to them. Anyone that goes in a math field will be dependent on their calculator, and anyone that becomes a writer will continually use their spell checker. For these reasons, I think that it is fine that students use these types of technology today.

No, it isn't good that students are becoming too dependent on the technology, but isn't that what our world is coming to? Technology makes up 95% of our world, and there is nothing we can do about this. I think it is a wonderful thing, but when programs provide the application of spell checker the students will use it as well as calculators on the computer. The teacher has an option to allow the students to use the calculators in a classroom, but spell checker is something that will always be available.

Technology is mainstream for students today. They have never known a world without the internet, computers, or cell phones. Students get a lot of their information, whether right or wrong, through media, text messages, the internet, and blogs. We as teachers need to be on the cutting edge of technology to reach students through these medias, and help them adapt to new ones in order to prepare them for an ever-changing world. Incorporated technology into instruction that is useful, not distracting, is beneficial to students with different learning styles and modes of information. Some specific benefits to technology in the classroom can be found here . My main concern with technology is the new ways in which students can use them to cheat. I saw a recent news broadcast that discussed this very topic and it worries me. The use of cell phones will not be tolerated in my classroom because it is unnecessary to have them while you are learning in the classroom. However, I believe that technology can be a great asset for me to help students become better people as it allows me to help connect historical events to the present. Technology can help me make my topic more relevant to the students as they get to see a different view of a historical event besides the textbook.

Another thought:
One drawback I see with some dependency-causing technologies like spell check is in our ability (or the lack thereof) to write and punctuate correctly. Sure, spell check finds misspelled words, but sometimes people use the wrong spelling for an intended word (for instance, I just edited a previous paragraph in which the writer used the word "weather" when the correct spelling was "whether"). Punctuation has almost become a thing of the past. We tend to write just as we speak, and because of that, it sometimes takes more than one reading to understand the meaning of a poorly punctuated sentence. Although I am a "stickler" for spelling and punctuation issues, I'm quite sure that I have also fallen dependent, to some degree, to the same technological services.

Yet another thought:
I've seen the following question before, and it's really made me think: What kinds of questions should we be asking to our students who have Google in their pocket? As a Foreign Language teacher, I know it will be easy for students to whip out the translator app offered on their iPhones, iPod touches and IPads. My goal is to teach them so well they will not have to use these resources on a daily basis. Of course, I will encourage utilizing such tools, but I want to make sure I teach them in a way that they can compliment their knowledge with technology, not use it as their entire basis of knowledge.

One More Thought:
I understand that the world is moving to a more technology based format, and that it is something that everyone should try to embrace. Teachers that refuse to do so are going to be left behind. I am one of those stubborn individuals that wants to refuse technology all together, not because I am inadequate at using it (in fact I am pretty good) but because I remember how things were without it. The things that I will teach (music) are meant to be done without some computer and the day that we substitute a computer for a human being with an instrument will be a very sad day. My point is, I think that technology can be overused in a classroom. I intend to do my best to use the technology at hand, but eventually there will be a time that I will tell my students that the technology that they are using is becoming a crutch. The human mind will forever be more creative than that of a computer. We should all try to develop individuals that acknowledge this and maintain an appropriate relationship with technology, especially in the classroom.
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