Educational Technology

EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY My time as a student at William & Mary and as a student teacher at Greenwood Elementary has prepared me explore and utilize some of the latest educational technologies. These experiences have allowed me to enhance my instruction in ways that I never even considered possible. As technology becomes increasingly available to both students and teachers, it is important for teachers to help create a secure and purposeful approach to technology in their classrooms. The following are my views on the 2008 National Educational Technology Standards based on my experiences.

Standard 1: Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
As computers and overhead projectors become increasingly present in classrooms across the country, it is important for all classroom teachers to help to facilitate experiences with technology when appropriate. Teachers should refrain from using technology in their lesson

Create your own video slideshow at

planning and instruction when it does not directly support student learning. It has been my experience that using technology for the sake of technology is largely ineffective and often, a waste of time; however, when used effectively, technology can help change the way students learn for the better.

Digital tools and resources allow today's teachers to collaborate in ways that their predecessors never dreamed possible. Schools can now share their resources with the international learning community and access a nearly limitless amount of creative suggestions and models of ways to use technology to promote student engagement. When properly guided, students can reflect and collaborate with one another on everything from that week's spelling list to the study of ancient Greece! Students and teachers revel in the opportunity to share their stories, ideas, and experiences and should not hesitate to do so.

The following shows one way that I have utilized technology to enhance my abilities to communicate my artistic vision. The following Widget presents my personal art portfolio using an Animoto Video Slideshow:

Standard 2: Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
Throughout this semester of learning, I was able to design a series of learning plans and assessments that utilized different technologies to enhance my teaching. As a pre-service teacher, I was lucky enough to implement some of these lessons in my cooperating teacher's classroom and I hope to continue building upon this collection.

Standard 3: Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Daily lessons are not the only place that teachers can effectively incorporate technology. Depending on the resources available to the class

within the school and at home, teachers can create classroom websites, send weekly emails to parents, develop a classroom wiki page, start a classroom blog, Skype with experts, and more. I was able to create a VoiceThread photo story earlier this semester in order to introduce myself to my classmates. This innovative technology allows teachers and students to share stories and opinions with each other while maintaining secure privacy settings.

If you are not a member of the secured group who was invited to view and comment on this VoiceThread, you cannot view the profiles or projects of the people who commented on the project above. Similarly, if you were to search for my VoiceThread on the Internet, it could not be accessed without an invitation.

Standard 4: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
When allowing students to explore new technologies, it is important to teach them about digital etiquette. Though many Internet resources are available to the public, it is important to always give credit where credit is deserved. Although formal citations and bibliographies are not often introduced in lower-level elementary classrooms, students should begin to recognize who any given work belongs to and why. The students in my cooperating classroom, though only in first grade, know to say "Thank You" to the author of a book or newspaper article when they mention it in their own work. It is a very basic introduction to literary ethics, but it is an important foundation for their future educational pursuits. I really enjoy the following video from YouTube that brilliantly approaches copyright laws in a way that enables viewers of all ages walk away with a general understanding.

Standard 5: Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
In my graduate level classroom, we were strongly encouraged to incorporate different technologies in our nightly homework assignments, lesson planning, unit creation, and in class presentations. During my pre-service teacher experience I researched and its companion websites Quia Books and IXL Math, focusing on how to access their classroom applications and most effective features. I attended and participated in the 14th Annual Mathematics Education Day Conference at the College of William and Mary on October 26, 2010. Since September 2010, I have maintained a book blog that houses my responses to and interpretations of a variety of elementary-appropriate texts. My peers and I comment and reflect on each others' findings and maintain strong communication so that we are always being exposed to new books and lesson ideas. While I strongly believe in the benefits of incorporating technology into the classroom, it is important for all teachers to remember that although technology is crucial to success, success does not rely on technology.