Artifact Introduction: During our eleventh week in Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum, we were to review a serious of resources including the textbook Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching & reflect on the obstacles of integrating technology into the classroom. We were then to apply this information to our own classroom and chosen content area (ELA) and reflect on the solutions to these obstacles.
“The definition of literacy has changed dramatically in the United States over the course of its history, from being able to sign your name, to being familiar with certain canonical texts, to begin able to read and write and make meaning from the written word, to being proficient in 21st-century literacies.” (Roblyer p. 261) With this constant change in the definition of literacy comes the constant evolution of teaching and the responsibility of the teacher to evolve with the times. The Common Core State Standards clearly address the importance of technology implementation in English Language Arts by stating that students need to: “…employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use…” (Common Core 2010) As Robyler states, this is because Educational policy has begun to recognize how the internet is changing how people learn.
As noted above, integrating technology into ELA is important. However, obstacles to do so effectively are often encountered, some of these obstacles are listed below:
Problem: Adequacy of Professional Development for Teachers
Teachers are regularly being asked to change and modify their strategies in teaching and many are happy to do so if they have proper training, time to implement, and evidence that demonstrates the benefits for the students. The problem that is often found and that I see with teachers at the school where I work is that those things were not given to them. GAFE (Google Apps for Educators) was adopted by the entire district and all of these wonderful tools were displayed and then the training ended. These teachers needed more and Roblyer states four ways that professional development about technology integration could be improved that could have been used in this situation and these are:
- “Time to learn, explore and develop literacy lessons
- Access to the technologies
- Access to more knowledge and knowledgeable others
- Continued, direct support”
Solution: Personal Learning Communities & Self-developed Professional Development
Roblyer points out that when teachers do not have the support they need in order to find their own professional development. “By developing themselves into a connected educator who interacts with professional educators around the world in order to construct new knowledge and deepen understanding.” He also suggests “teachers assume personal responsibility for professional learning through organized professional communities, teacher-selected personal learning communities and interest-based communities of practice.” All of these are valid solutions to enhance teacher education but I think there needs to be an improvement of support systems by districts to provide for time for teachers to do such things and even resources to get them started.
Problem: Access to appropriate tools/resources
While developing many of the lessons and projects for this class and integrating them into my content area I found that there are a plethora of resources for teaching ELA concepts to students. I also found that within this wealth of information there were a lot of tools and resources that did not live up to their full potential. There were also a lot of resources that did not have correct information or were not user-friendly. Since the internet is a place for everyone and everything, this is a problem that was bound to arise.
Solution: Sharing of Resources in Teacher Learning Communities
As Robyler mentioned above teachers can become members in organized professional communities like the NCTE’s Connected Community website and/or personal learning communities such as Twitter, blogs, digital portfolios and using RSS feeds. These technologies can “help educators identify new trends, connect with educators, share and receive ideas, build relationships, and ultimately become connected educators that know the affordances and challenges of using digital tools and support the development of new literacies”. Being a part of a connected learning community and sharing resources is the best way for teachers to ensure that they are using the most up-to-date resources that will give them the most “bang for their buck.“The definition of
So as the definition of literacy has changed over time so will teaching and to do so we need to pull together as educators and collaborate to grow together as a community of learners teaching the future.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010). Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors.
Roblyer, M.D., (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment required me to really delve into the ELA curriculum and textbook to analyze the obstacles teachers face when integrating technology in the ELA content on a regular basis and how those obstacles can be lessened or solved. I got the experience to analyze various situations and synthesize the information I’ve learned to solve these problems.
- AECT Standard 2.1 Creating: To write about the relative advantage of technology in the ELA classroom, I needed to apply content pedagogy to reflect upon appropriate applications of processes and technologies to improve learning and performance outcomes.
- AECT Standard 2.2 Using: To write about the obstacles and solutions of integrating technology in the ELA classroom, I thought of ways to implement appropriate educational technologies and processes based on appropriate content pedagogy and what problems one might encounter along the way.
- AECT Standard 2.3 Assessing/Evaluating: I demonstrated an inquiry process that assessed the adequacy of learning and evaluated the instruction and implementation of educational technologies and processes grounded in reflective practice while reflecting upon the problems and solutions of integrating technology in the ELA classroom setting.