This week in EDUC7726 Teaching, Learning, and Assessing in the Digital Era, we were asked to stand on a "soap box" and speak for 8 minutes on a topic related to technology. We met as a class through Google Hangouts and delivered our "soap box" speeches. I chose to speak about the "Top 10 - What Teachers Should Know about Technology". I enjoyed this activity because I was able to reflect and share my thoughts about what I feel is important for teachers to know about teaching with technology. I was able to corroborate my thoughts with research, and I was able to share my understanding of ideas presented by others who have written on the topic. Here is my soap box presentation on "What Teachers Need to Know About Technology".
The soap box topics presented by my classmates were all informative. I learned something from each. The topics were relevant and meaningful to my journey in the effective use of technology in teaching. +Elizabeth Hick's "If students have the answers, what are the questions?" presented thought provoking ideas and research on questioning. With the proliferation of the Internet, finding the answers has never been easier. Questions posed by teachers today have to move beyond recall and summarization to questions that promote higher order thinking skills. +Joseph Depalma shared a host of valuable resources and suggestions regarding the use of technology by young children. From +Elizabeth Ferry 's soap box, "Stem to Steam", I learned about the trend to integrate "Art" into the STEM fields. +Amy Paskov's presentation on MOOCs and the issue with assessment generated a discussion on auto computerized grading of writing. +Gail Dandelske shared about the inconsistencies between textbooks and CCSS alignment. +Tim Flanagan spoke about the ISTE organization and the resources they offer. From his presentation, I learned about the standards for coaches of technology. Finally +Joan Robinson spoke of the future in technology and its uncertainty due to the rapid technological changes and advancements that occur. One thing is certain, it will look different than it does today. She spoke of the need for teachers to find time to use technology and assess its effectiveness.
The "Soap Box" activity was an authentic learning opportunity, and I would like to thank our professor, +Laura Greenstein for suggesting the activity. I think this activity is a powerful way to have students take a stance, research, evaluate, and synthesize information to create a presentation on a topic. I think my middle school students would also enjoy a "soap box" activity.