Too Cool for School? No Way!

apple

How does technology fit into education?

The media today is heavily focused on technology in schools broadcasting it as a new phenomenon however; technology in schools is not a new phenomenon (Park 2008), for years education has been changing from using simple technologies like a projector to more advanced ones like an interactive smart board, now classrooms have even begun to integrate iPads into daily lessons – a technology which has not been specifically designed for educational use.

The introduction of technology into schools has raised many issues and opportunities for our students and teachers, Due to technology not being solely invented for educational purposes teachers must be creative, smart and manipulate or ’re-purpose’ technology to suit educational needs (Mishra and Koehler 2009), a way they can do this is to follow the TPACK framework.

The TPACK framework recognises that the two main features of teaching is pedagogy and subject matter, educators must be aware of how they can use pedagogy to make the content matter accessible to students so they can understand it. By highlighting the 2 main features of teaching and incorporating them into technology use in education, the TPACK (technological pedagogical and content knowledge) framework is created.

Teachers must have the knowledge concerning the use of technology and be willing to experiment with new technologies that may be beneficial to education. By following the TPACK framework educators and students can reap the benefits of using technology in education.

Park, E.Y., (2012). Technology in Education: A Teacher’s Perspective. Retrieved from http://socialwebqanda.com/2012/02/technology-in-education-a-teachers-perspective/

Mishra, P.,& Koehler,. M. (2009). Too Cool for School? No Way!: Using the TPACK framework. Learning & Leading with Technology, 14-18. Retrieved from Blackboard.

ICT’s in Education

Review of ICT’s to use in education.

1. Bubbl.us

Description: Simple Brainstroming/mind mapping tool

Advantages: Free, easy to use, easily accessible,no log on required

Disadvantages:  limitations on functions,dependant on internet,difficult to save/export it, can’t add media into it,can’s be used on ipads,slow to load

Use in classroom: This can be used for simple mind maps,good and easy substitute for paper.

2.CoolMath4Kids

Description: Maths website contains resources,games and activities

Advantages: Free, easy to use,  motivating, fun, colourful, different pages for children,teachers and parents

Disadvantages: May be distracting, lots of ads

Use in the classroom:  Free computer time, allocated maths lesson

3. Brainpop.com

Description:  Animated website with free videos ,worksheets, activities and quizzes

Advantages: Free to sign up, lots of subject areas

Disadvantages: Need to sign up, not all activities are free

Use in classroom: Great for watching informative and interesting videos.

4.Toondoo.com

Description: Create cartoons and comics strips online

Advantages: Simple and easy to use, sign up free, availability to export it (save it, email,print)

Disadvantages:  Need to sign up,can get very distracting making it easy for children to get off task

Use in classroom: Get the children to plan a comic strip, then get them to create it online using toondoo. Make sure children stick to their plan so they do not get off task.

5. Survey Monkey

Description: A site which can be used to generate professional surveys.

Advantages: Free, easy to use, you can customize it,looks proffessional

Disadvantages: If you want to access all the features you may need to subscribe for a paid membership, students can write anything in these survey therefore the teacher needs to closely monitor what is being written is appropriate.

Use in classrooms: Surveys can be used in classroom for all sorts of things from what students what to do in their free time on Friday to finding out the most popular food in the school canteen which then can be used for a maths lesson, surveys can also be used so students can give each other of their peers feedback on a presentaion that was presented.

6. Google News Archive

Description: Google news archive is a google search which can be used to search old newspapers.

Advantages: Free, easy to search,easy access, no need to sign up,great tool to use when researching

Disadvantages: Some of the language used may be a little advanced and difficult to understand especially for primary school students.

Use in classroom: Google New archive can be used in all areas at school. Some of these areas may be history,english,science. Google news archive can be used to teach students about different text types such as newspapers and articles, it can also be used for historical content in history as well as teaching students about what a primary source looks like. Students can also use Google archive to help them find information in research tasks.

7. Text2MindMap

Descritption: Text2MinMap is another online brainstorming tool similar to Bubbl.us

Advantages:  Free, no need to login in,quick to use no need to wait long periods for things to load, can be saved.

Disadvantages: Text 2 mind map can be a little confusing when it comes to writing  in your brainstorm as the text can only be written in a certain place, there is also very little variation in colours and fonts.

Use in classroom: Text2MindMap can be used to create simple mind maps in class instead of writing them up by hand.

8. Scootle

Description: Scootle is an education website providing teachers with online digital Le@rning Federation resources, which are linked to the Australian Curriculum as well as ideas for lessons which are also linked to the curriculum.

Advantages: Resources are Australian curriculum linked, easy to access multiple resources, resources cover all the subject areas, easy to use, easy to search for specific resources, sign up is free.

Disadvantages: Need to sign up to use resources

Use in classroom: Scootle resources can definitely be used in the classroom in all learning areas since all resources are supported by the curriculum.

9. Funschool.Kaboose

Description: Funschool.Kaboose is a website where there is interactive educative games, craft ideas,printables and activities online.

Advantages: No need to sign up, games are educative, great craft ideas to use in the classroom,free and interactive as well as a range of topics such as science, under the sea etc.

Disadvantages: American based, some topics don’t relate to what is taught at school, e.g. Girl Power?  this topic is not educative or relevant.

Use in classroom: Funschool.Kaboose can be used when students have free computer time, teachers can also use it to find great craft activities to use in the classroom.

10.Khan Academy

Description: The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website where there is over 4000 videos which  can be searched to teach students everything for Algebra to Humanities.

Advantages:  Free, thousands of videos, set out in a way students can organise their thoughts,easy to use and search for videos,interactive, range of topics.

Disadvantages: Videos may take a while to load, some videos may also be a little confusing and not explain the concept in a clear way

Use in classroom: This should be used with older students since the videos can contain a lot of content, students could use this to revise for tests or exams. In the classroom the teacher may also use Khan Academy to introduce a topic by showing a short video about the topic.

The Digital Natives Debate

digital nTechnology is very well present in our society today, there is no escaping it, from using your mobile phone to check Facebook to using your laptop to type up a report; technology is EVERYWHERE!

This has led to a new generation known as ‘Digital Natives’. Digital Natives are young people who have grown up with technology, it is said that this generation is extremely different to other generations because of them growing up in a fast-paced technologically advanced world, it is a common understanding in society today that they learn differently, think differently, behave differently and even have their own language because of growing up in a world where there is continuous change and a large exposure to technology. This common understanding is somewhat correct and is seen as a big problem in education. It now seems education must now change from the traditional organised teaching styles to more tech-savvy styles to meet the needs of this new generation known as ‘Digital Natives’ This debate seems to be never ending for years we’ve now talked about the growing gap between the younger generations and the older ones and the issue of technology in education but we seem to be getting nowhere, repeating the same things over and over.

The article “Digital Natives” by Bennett. S ,focuses on research data about how young people use technology, starting with how accessible it actually is, it’s quite surprising that not all young people (school-aged children) have genuine access to technology , that is due to the differences in home access and how parents value technology as an educational or recreational device. The study also highlighted how important the cost of a device was to university students, often opting for the most affordable device. It then continued by asking what kind of activities were accessed, these results showed the variation of what was being accessed according to the age group, gender and socio-economic status (Selwyn 2008). Giving us the conclusion that not all ‘digital natives’ have the same characteristics. A highly important fact that must be taken into account.

Bennett. S then raised the issue of education and technology….

Bennett. S drew the attention to the fact that not all so-called ‘digital-natives’ shared the same characteristics, therefore the issue of technology in education and how education should rapidly change to keep up with the tech-savvy Gen X is flawed. However before you agree or disagree with this he clearly stated that this did not mean that education shouldn’t change at all. Instead we should now use this new information to help us with the technology in education debate. As research shows that there is a diversity of learners experiences with technology, teachers must not assume all students have the correct skills to use technology in an academic setting. Therefore we must properly teach our students how to responsibly and correctly use technology in academic practices.

Bennett. S also talks about how we can further advance the debate over the ‘digital natives’. Bennett talks about how we need to change the tenor of the debate. He mentions that we must not panic over the increase on technology and must remember many of the issues faced with technology such as cyber- bullying or complaining about teachers are not 100% new they have now just become more visible, For example bullying is still regarded as bullying whether it’s done online or face to face, that means many anti-bullying strategies can still be effective or tweaked a little to be able to be used with technology.

As a society I think we’ve put too much attention on the ‘sudden’ technological movement and therefore have labelled technology as well as the inter-connected issues that arise as a scary new phenomenon. In fact technology isn’t scary at all, change is part of the world we live in, Many things have changed since the 20th century it’s just like that, we need to accept the change and learn to live with technology and learn to how to cope and problem solve the issues faced with it, just like we did back in the 20th century when ‘digital natives’ did not exists. We have got to stop debating about technology and start making and accepting the changes; for once lets accept that education needs to change and start using more technology but also start teaching the digital natives how to use it properly and correctly in not just everyday life but in academic practices as well. TECHNOLOGY IS HERE TO STAY!