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Da Quisha Whitaker

Technology Philosophy
In the 21st century technology has taken over the homes of Americans with devices like
smart phones, tablets, desktops, computers and more. On average, families have at least two if
not all of these devices in their homes and are actively using them daily to communicate and
learn. So why are schools not doing the same inside of their classrooms? Many schools treat
technology like the plague and avoid it as much as possible, sticking to pen and paper and
spending little time in computer labs. I personal believe that technology in education is essential
in order to engage and empower students to learn. This generation is so exposed to technology,
why not incorporate it into our classrooms to enhance the learning experience and ultimately
work to close the achievement and opportunity gaps that exists. As someone who supports
technology in education, I will use technology to meet my students diverse needs and educate
them. This is done by creating lesson plans that incorporate technology, and most importantly
being a part of a school that values and supports technology.
My personal viewpoint about the use of technology in education is that it is necessary and
should be incorporated more in schools today, including those that are populated by students who
come from poverty stricken backgrounds. Ulrich Boser found that that students from highpoverty backgrounds were far less likely to have rigorous learning opportunities when it comes
to technology (Boser, 2013, p. 3). I have been in schools like these where all the students have
are computer labs with desktops that havent been updated with new software and smartboards
only in honors and advanced placement classrooms. We have to get away from the idea that
technology is only being used for educational, business and research purposes by whites and
Asians, and entertainment purposes for blacks (Rich Halverson, Technology Inside vs. Outside of

the Classroom). The reality is, technology is evolving rapidly and being used by everyone in
some shape or fashion in education and careers all over the world, and the only way to be a part
of the evolving learning and thriving world, is to be technology literate. When we have districts,
schools and teachers who believe these biases about who uses and needs technology, students
educational needs arent being met. This results in students falling behind in their classrooms and
ultimately their districts; not being able to compete with their counterparts in scholarships and
college admissions. One main reason technology has been avoided by school districts is the
cost of funding such hardware and software. Korbey stated in her article, In the Rush to Buy New
Tech for Common Core, What Happens to the Big Picture, that the Pioneer Institute estimates
that cost to transition to the Common Core for school districts, which requires a large amount
of use of technology, will be approximately $16 billion over the next seven years (Korbey, 2013).
No one will argue that that isnt an astronomical number, however, to close the achievement gap,
districts need to look into ways to help students perform better on assessments and in the
classroom. Perhaps it isnt necessary to spend $16 billion, but doing a pilot program and starting
out with a 5:1 ratio students to laptop/tablet devices to implement new software curriculum is a
start. Many schools tend to go straight for the huge billion dollar investment when it is agreed
that there needs to be more technology in the classroom, but piloting is just as effective, and
helps schools and districts evaluate what exactly their students need and how effective it can be
to their academic achievement.
I also believe that the digital divide has to do with the lack of digital literacy. Training for
teachers isnt being provided therefore, teachers arent able to use technology to enhanced and
challenged with higher-level thinking of their students. Because the teaching demographics are
so diverse in the schools buildings today, with 44% of teachers being under 40 (National

Institution for Education Statistics, 2011-2012), almost half of the teachers are not educated on
the new technologies available for teachers to educate their students with, nor do they have the
proper training to use software and devices in their classroom. This causes a barrier, and bridges
a gap between teachers and ultimately between students and teachers as they learn more in one
class than they do in others. This barrier can be fixed in many ways, one being partnering
seasoned teachers with newer teachers and challenging them to educate one another on lesson
plans and technology based programs that enhance learning. This could be something as simple
as a 4th year teacher showing a tenure teacher how to use Kahoot in the classroom to create a
game that evaluates students comprehension of a unit on power and discrimination.
Collaboration like this incorporates technology, but also creates accountability in the use of
technology, bridging gaps of understanding technology and how to use it effectively for the
greater good of the students learning process.
As an advocate of technology in the classroom, I will use technology in my classroom in
many ways in order to address the diverse needs of my students learning from different
backgrounds. This will be done by creating graphic organizers of the material I have created for
the units. We will study novels like Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, and will work on an in-class
project where the students create Facebook profiles for characters in the book. There profiles will
have to share what the characters believe about themselves, one person the character is friends
with, one person the character sees as an enemy, and one person the character finds as a
challenge. They will also post quotes from that character on their Facebook page and pictures
that align with their characters belief. Once they have created these profiles they will befriend
one another and communicate in the tone, language and perspective of their characters. This type
of project incorporates technology by using computers to use social media platforms to display

comprehension of reading and themes in the novel. It becomes more interactive and provides
students with opportunities to work together because they are using a familiar website-Facebook,
to show the teacher and their peers what they have learned. This level of learning can still be
evaluated by the teacher and students can learn from one another through the profiles created, all
while doing what they love most-FACEBOOKING! I will also use sites like Polly Every Where
to complete polls on the prediction of where novels are going or Kahoot to create review games
that they can respond to with their mobile devices using software like Menitmeter. The point is,
some schools will not have the funding to afford Chromebooks, MacBooks, tablets and other
tech devices that students can use to learn. So it is my responsibility as the teacher to find
software, programs and sites that provide innovates ways to learn, assess and creatively teach
lessons like math teacher Robert Pronovost.
On average, black and Latino students are academically about two years behind white
students of the same age. So it is my job as a teacher to address the diverse needs of my students,
ensuring they catch up with their peers and perform at equivalent if not higher levels of learning.
I will do this by communicating high expectations for all of my students and not just some who I
feel can meet those expectations. I will also provide simple handouts as graphic organizers to
help students keep track of key points, people, ideas, etc. in the material that we are studying. I
will keep in frequent communication with students parents who I observe may be falling behind
or need additional help with lessons. Staying after and opening my classroom during lunch time
to help those students who needed more time in class with an assignment. With my students who
are from different backgrounds, I believe that it is my responsibility to learn more about their
backgrounds prior to them entering my class (once I receive my roster), and identifying where
they are in their learning, in order to choose technologies, techniques, and/or strategies that will

help them to follow along and learn with their peers. As a teacher I want to also use peer
collaboration in my classroom, partnering students with their peers who get the lesson and know
how to use the technology. Most students find it easier to learn from their peers than teachers,
and can communicate what I have taught in a way that their peers understand. It builds
leadership, teamwork and accountability amongst peers, and gives me the opportunity to work
more with students individually who are behind or struggling with learning from peer or me
during the prior classroom discussion. For my diverse learning from different backgrounds
students, I would also use YouTube to show videos and documentaries of people or events that
they can relate to that coincide with what we are learning. That way they are more engaged due
to relatability, and perhaps watching a lesson makes more sense to them then reading about
something or listening to me present.
The reality is, technology is evolving in our world and the need for competitive learning
is increasing in our classrooms. As districts strive to meet academic goals to maintain funding
and retain teachers, there are many avenues they must take to ensure that their students are
performing at high level learning in a comprehensive and engaging manner. Technology is a tool
that enhances the learning in the classroom. It is not used to replace teachers, curriculum or even
the act of critically thinking. By using technology in the classroom, we as teachers are teaching
our students how to learn in more creative and engaging ways that not only promote academic
success, but technology intelligence that equips them to be competitive in the education and
workforce communities. There will always be many barriers for why technology cant work, but
there will also be many more solutions on how to make it work in the classroom. We as teachers
have to seek out those opportunities for our students, and introduce their minds to more visionary
ways to learn. Ultimately closing the achievement and opportunity gap that has for so long

caused a divide in learning for students of different races and socio-economic status, and the
different generations of teachers who educate these diverse students.
References:
Boser, U. (2013). Are Schools Getting a Big Enough Bang for their Education Technology
Buck? Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2013
Digedu. (2014). Technology Use in the Classroom: Benefits & Barriers. Retrieved from
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0furo7_ulDCbm5vWnY4TjZqVzA&usp=shai
ng
Halverson, R. (2013, November 18). Technology Inside versus Outside the Classroom. [Video
file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR-FwgmcLaA
H. Korbey. (2013). In the Rush to Buy New Tech for Common Core, What Happens to the Big
Picture? Retrieved from http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/12/03/in-the-rush-to-buynew-tech-for-common-core-what-happens-to-the-big-picture/
Nebraska Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Fast Facts: Teacher Trends. Retrieved from
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28