What is stopping us from moving forward?

Reimagining teaching or rethinking the way we teach to 21st century learners is a prominent discussion point among educators today.  In CEP 812 this week, we looked at this problem and identified various factors of what is making this problem so wicked.

There are three main areas where change needs to happen in order to get us moving in the right direction.  They include policy, leadership, and practice (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, pg.6).  Listed below are just four different problems that add to making our problem of rethinking teaching, WICKED.

  1. Uniform Learning vs. Customization – Our society has this idea that all students should learn the same thing at the same time.  Technology challenges this idea in that it customizes learning to one’s specific needs and interests. (Collins and Halverson, 2009).
  2. Rethinking How Schools Work – Students follow a daily schedule where a bell starts and ends class.  This doesn’t allow for interdisciplinary learning to take place or  collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge retention to go on amongst students. (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, pg.8)
  3. Access to Technologies – Teachers are limited in the amount of access they have during the school day to technology (computers, iPads, etc.).  “It is important to get the technology part right to enable the desired transformations in teaching and learning” (Light, 2015).
  4. Standardized Assessments – Students are given standardized tests to see how much they have “learned”.  In moving forward, more project-based learning needs to take place, thus weening out standardized assessments. (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, pg.10)

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Lastly, check out this YouTube video on ‘Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner’ by the MacArthur Foundation.

What are your thoughts about rethinking teaching?  What do you think makes this problem so wicked?

Resources:

Collins, A. & Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools. Retrieved from: https://llk.media.mit.edu/courses/readings/Collins-Rethinking-Education.pdf

Light, D. (2015). Technology, Teaching, and Learning. Retrieved from: http://sowc2015.unicef.org/stories/a-technology-ecosystem-to-support-learning/

MacArthur Foundation. (1, December, 2010). Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xa98cy-Rw

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Retrieved from: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

Technology Integration

This week in my CEP 812 course, we were asked to conduct a survey to our colleagues about technological integration.  I administered a survey through SurveyMonkey to the 23 elementary certified teachers at the school where I currently teach.  The questions I created pertained to what technologies are currently used in the classroom, when they are being used the most, the comfort level of teachers use of technology, and what professional development teachers would like to gain a better understanding of technology.

An example of the survey that was conducted can be found here.

The subject areas in which teachers incorporated technology the most were Math, Science, and Literacy.  It should be noted that subscriptions to technologies for each of these subject areas have been purchased through the school.  The graph below shows the percentages of each subject area.

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In continuing with the research among my colleagues, I discovered that although teachers are using technologies in the classroom such as Reflex Math, Raz-Kids, Microsoft Office, iPads, computers, Elmo, and the SmartBoard they are still interested in learning about newer technologies.  The graph below represents the technologies that teachers are wanting to learn more about, with Google Drive/Google Classroom being the highest at 47.4%.image copy 3.png

Please check out the full analysis of the survey.  With the idea of technology integration, there comes a lot of wicked problems.  Money, compensation, way of teaching, professional development, and technology are only a few of the problems that comes with this movement.  It’s not a deciding factor of whether it needs to happen or not.  I think we can all agree that this shift in thinking and way of teaching is going to happen.  The question now is, when?