2A: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity (ITSE, 2012).
5C: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning (ITSE, 2012).
These were the standards that I choose to focus on when I started this course and designed a GAME (goals, actions, monitor, evaluate and extend) plan for my students (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). In regards to the first standard that I choose, incorporating digital tools that promote student learning, I was able to infuse my existing curriculum with more technology than I have ever used before. Students were able to become familiar with tools such as VoiceThreads, wikis, and digital storytelling. It resulted in a learning curve for both the students and me. The number one thing that I will take away from this experience is that preparation is the key to any lesson that involves technology. Having a back-up plan in place comes in a close second. Rubrics guided the students through the labyrinth of what to include and helped to keep them focused on the lesson at hand. Pacing was another hurdle that students and I needed to work through.
As for the second standard that I focused on, evaluating and reflecting on current research, using the tools and experiencing first-hand how they work in a classroom setting allowed for adaptations to be made. Accommodations such as translated pages for English language learners, adjusted reading levels for struggling students, and allowing for extra time to type the information gleaned were all discovered through implementation of the technology itself. Having students reflect on the aspects of the lesson that worked well and those that did not afforded yet another look at how to better execute the lesson in the future. The piece that I still struggle with is finding the time to explore new technologies and determine how to best incorporate them into my teaching repertoire.
This experience has shown me that including various technologies into my teaching does not detract from the content being learned. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Students are learning exponentially, not only content but digital literacies that they will take into the work force with them. Providing students with the skills that will enable them to compete in today’s global market is why I choose teaching as a profession 20 years ago. Sharing how to use technologies that they are already familiar with, in a new way that they otherwise might not have ever thought of, opens up possibilities for students to become critical and creative thinkers while collaborating with each other or experts to solve the problems that they face, not only today but in the future as well.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology Integration for Meaningful Classroom
Use. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
ITSE, I. S. (2012). NETS for Teachers. Retrieved September 12, 2012, from