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Usage of Educational Technology


Kellie Payne
Holy Names University
EDUC 271
1/28/15

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In the year 2015 I believe it is part of a teachers duty to ensure her
kids are up to date on the latest information, criteria, methods and
textbooks etc. I am curious however as to why teachers are reluctant
to incorporate technology into the classroom. We moved from using a
chalkboard to pencil and paper and so I feel It is essential to also move
with the transition of technology. We should look at it as a method of
note taking or a method of research, something that is going to be an
aid rather than a nuisance to a teacher. As teachers we dont only want
to prepare our scholars for life in the education system instead we
want to spark an interest in children that will give them a thirst for
knowledge to chase their dream career and prepare them for the real
world. Therefore I believe that we need to ensure that we are including
the use of technology in the classroom. I am not suggesting that we
need to teach them how to use technology however they can learn
second hand through trial and error and through the inclusion of
computers, iPads and the internet. If we are telling kids to not use a
computer we are not preparing them for what their future jobs will
entail them to do. Most jobs require the use of technology in some form
or other. Teachers expect children to embrace change on a daily basis
so we need to practice what we preach.

When it comes to technology I would definitely agree that we need to


include it in our curriculum and I am open to ideas. As I grew up in a

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rural area in Ireland we were not given the opportunity to use
technology in our classrooms do unfortunately I am not familiar with
its inclusion in the curriculum. Even if I had used technology in the
classroom it would be considered as ancient now to the pupils as it
tends to date very quickly (no thanks to Apple!) With that being said
there is no point in trying to deny our futuristic surroundings and
instead I am deciding to be open minded. I have played video games
since I was 11. It started off with Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon
and then my world was turned upside down with Grand Theft Auto. Not
all teachers can boast they completed GTA Vice City in 2 days. In my
moment of boastfulness I also acknowledge my countless weaknesses
when it comes to technology. Including and not limited to excel,
educational technology, navigating Apple Mac, Linked In, PDF files and
patience with slow internet. Granted most dont have patience with
slow Internet but there is no excuse for me to not know how to turn my
strengths into weaknesses. I can easily do it through the use of
technology as there are endless forums and YouTube videos entitled
how to.. I want to put myself in the position of the children in my
classroom and be living proof that I can turn my weaknesses into
strengths and use technology to help them ace their next math or
biology exam.

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I want to be able to show children that it is important to adapt with the
times and to not be afraid of change therefore I need to learn more
about the incorporation of technology in the classroom.
I am very well aware of the negative effects video games can have on
a child however I believe that we can turn this negativity into a positive
experience for the child, parent(s) and teacher. Some of the negative
affects being that it can distract the child from their school work, they
are unfocused and tired in school due to lack of sleep from playing said
games and they can pick up a desensitization of violence (in some
cases.) However if teachers developed a means for the child to
incorporate that same focus and mastery skill that they use in Angry
Birds then the child is on the right track to success. For instance
research has shown that playing computer games produces reductions
in reaction times, improved hand-eye coordination and raises players
self-esteem (Griffiths, 2002). As teachers we want to try to target
childrens interest to be able to actively engage them in classroom
activity. If a teacher knows that a particular student loves playing video
games they should be able to use it to their advantage. Most children
are exposed to technology from a young age and therefore they have
grown up with educational TV programs such as Sesame Street. It is an
entertaining, fast pace method of learning that can and should be
incorporated in the classroom. Using technology as a reward for
students is a great incentive and can encourage children to work hard

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on what they are doing knowing that it will earn them iPad time.

Bill and Melinda Gates have funded an assessment system called the
Glass Lab that uses interactive games to assess and teach information
with students. From navigating the website it is definitely something
that I feel I would use in my classroom. It provides a platform for
teachers to create a class and invite their students to join and play the
games picked out by the teacher. A much better way of navigating
through games as it can become distracting for children if they are
allowed to have free reign of what games they choose to play. They
can also find themselves playing games that are not educational or
beneficial. According to Glass Lab playing Sims City EDU better
prepares students for college as they have better problem solving and
system thinking skills. Had I have used Glass Lab in my learning as a
kid I know I would have learned faster and better as I am a visual
learner and cannot listen to instruction orally instead I need people to
model instruction. For example when I was studying for my CNEST I
was given multiple copies of books for free from other students who
had already taken it however I found an app called YourTeacher that
had interactive videos, examples, tests, assessments and walks
throughs that I found extremely beneficial. As a teacher I need to
realize that my students are most likely going to learn the same way.

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With the help of Glass Lab I feel like I can make this possible in the
classroom.

As I am yet to teach in a classroom I feel that my biggest worry about


technology in the classroom is inexperience. I do not want the kids to
feel that they can pull the wool over my eyes as such. I want to make
sure that my tool kit is vast with a beautiful variety, shapes and sizes
of tools to aid me in any difficult situation. I am willing to learn and am
looking forward to the possibilities, opportunities and the doors that
this class will not only open for me but for my students too.

References
Griffiths, M. (2002). The Educational Benefits of Videogames.
Education and Health, 20(3), 47-51.

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Shively, K. (2014). CHAPTER 8: DIGITAL PROGRESSIVE LEARNING
ENVIRONMENTS FOR ELEMENTARY CHILDREN. Curriculum & Teaching
Dialogue, 16(1/2), 141-156.