Through our studies during the course Instructional Technology and Information Management (EDTC-6536), we have discovered many ways to incorporate technology into the classroom that meets the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for teachers and students alike. Teachers meet standards through continual growth, leadership, and modeling the use of technologies both within the student learning activities, as well as through their own management and organization of materials. They can inspire students’ creativity and learning, while promoting digital citizenship and responsibility. In conjunction, students will use technology to demonstrate creative and critical thinking and problem solving skills through their understanding to technology concepts, systems, and operations, while doing so in an ethical and legal manner.
Teachers can facilitate and inspire students’ learning and creativity through modeling their own use of and learning of new technologies. When students observe mentors learning new technologies, it inspires them to be learners as well. Furthermore, when the teacher collaborates with the students to help with understanding, the students become teachers themselves, which promotes self-confidence and further learning. A teacher may wish to incorporate a gaming activity into the classroom activity, but she may be unfamiliar with the details of the technology itself. Students can assist with the designing and developing of such a digital learning experience. As Prensky (2007) states, students are not confident of the teachers’ ability to create games or gaming activities for educational purposes and wish to have more input. But involving the student in the activity, we create a student-centered approach that is beneficial to both student and teacher.
Regardless of how apt students are with technologies, educators cannot depend on them for all their technology needs. They must continue to engage in professional growth and leadership and improve and demonstrate effective use of digital tools and resources through coursework, books, online resources, and development tools that are specifically geared toward educators. Manning and Johnson’s (2011) The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching is one resource that address a variety of technology issues for classroom purposes. They provide information on everything from tools to get organized in the classroom, to how to incorporate technology into the students’ learning activities. They teach the reader how to determine how to compare tools and choose the best one to suit the needs. Manning and Johnson (2011) acknowledge that teaching technology is “like trying to hit a moving target.” Their (2011) book helps to take some of the anxiety out of using technology for educational purposes.
As teachers introduce and use more technology in the classroom setting, they need to continually promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.
Being an advocate and role model by teaching safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology must be a priority for all teachers, to ensure that students promote and practice digital citizenship in kind. Technology use is life-long for these students, so these practices must become inherent for a life-time of responsible citizenship.
As technology continues to grow and change within our society so must our attitudes, knowledge, and creative uses of such technology within and outside the classroom. In order to remain relevant and useful as educators, teachers embrace what the world is offering and incorporate these tools into a learning environment that is beneficial for all students.
Manning,S. and Johnson, K. (2011). The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. John-Bass A Wiley Imprint.
Prensky, M. (2007). Students as Educational Game Designers. Retrieved from: Module 3 Handout.
Ribble, M. (2013). Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately. Retrieved from: http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Home_Page.html