Sunday, April 13, 2014

Technology Ingetration

This week in UNH EDUC 7726 I was asked to enhance a lesson with technology.  I read about Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model for integrating technology in lessons.  SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Each of these categories represents a method and purpose for integrating technology in lessons.

This is how SAMR applies to the lesson I chose to modify and enhance. The original lesson had technology embedded. The original lesson asked students to research a musical instrument and produce a Publisher brochure about the instrument.

  • Substitution refers to the use of technology to substitute something that is done without the use of technology. Using Publisher is a substitution for having students create their brochures using paper and art supplies.

  • Augmentation refers to additional capabilities that a technology offer its user. The teacher who originated the task had students include digital imagery to enhance the appearance of their work.

  • Modification refers to how technology can be used to change the learning environment to improve learning.  The learning goal remains the same and technology is used to enhance learning to meet the learning goal.  As my colleague +Elizabeth Hick  commented, using a variety of multi-modal resources, print, website, video is an example of using technology to provide a variety of resources for students to use in learning. I recommend students’ practice website evaluation. I provided multi-modal (text and video) resources for students to learn about the 5ws of website evaluation.

  • Redefinition refers to a new task that can only result from the use of technology. I enhance the lesson by creating a new task for students.  They would search the Internet to find a multimedia clips of the instrument.   Listening to audio/video clips of the instruments is using the affordance of the Internet for providing sound and video. The audio/video clip would be played as they presented their brochures.  Their brochures had to include a reference to the link of the audio/video clip they used. My colleague +Elizabeth Ferry recommended a change to what students produced. She recommended using software that provided the integration of multimedia.

In addition to this task, I read the study, Technology and Education Change: Focus on Student Learning by Barbara Means. In the study, the characteristics of software and technology usage resulting in above-average student gains was compared to classrooms experiencing below-average gains. Among the recommendations from the finding of the study are:
  • training on the implementation of technology is essential to its effective use
  • technology is used frequently
  • teacher is facilitating and assessing students work on the computer
  • teacher using data reports to measure student progress, identifying trends, and opportunity to improve student learning
  • structured and taught entry and exits from using technology to maintain efficiency and classroom management
  • low computer to student ratio is best

In the Ted talk by Raj Dhingra Can Technology Change Education, Raj Dhingra suggests that not having big budget should not be a barrier to technology in the classroom. He presents how other have creatively addressed technology needs with small budgets. He references a mobile computer classroom used in Turkey to educate students. He also suggests using low cost alternatives such as those provided by n-computing.  The Bring Your Own Device initiative will also help Districts with small budgets reduce the ratio of students to computers.

Collaboration among educators will improve technology integration in lesson planning. The comments and suggestion I received from my colleagues this week helped me reflect on how I could improve my lesson. I feel teacher collaboration to review the effectiveness of a lesson after it has been executed is also valuable. Collaboration between teachers is a learning experience in itself, as teachers are able to share resources and ideas.

This week’s materials and activities have helped me reflect on best practices to use when integrating technology in the classroom to enhance student learning.

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