What a difference a week makes
Technology integration has always been important to me and it is the reason I joined COETAIL. I incorporate a lot of technology into modifications and accommodations for students to find success in the general education setting. For example, I have some students who are using Dragon dictation software for speech-to-text. I have other students who use Storyline Online and Epic to access books and have texts read aloud to them. I also have some students using Lexia in order to further develop their reading and phonics skills at home.
One of the reasons I feel that technology integration is vital to the classroom is that “research has suggested that technology-enabled project learning has the greatest benefits as these allow students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what real-world problems look like.” (Brian Host, Education Technology, May 2019). I want my students to feel empowered to participate and collaborate so I embrace the opportunities that tech integration, through mediums such as video production or Flip Grid, can offer students. This year, however, I have been faced with the challenge of time. I often feel that I do not have enough contact time with students and so I have been limited in how I integrate technology in my own classroom.
In this video, Jen Lehotsky mentions that the three circles in the Venn diagram will not be of equal size as those pertaining to pedagogical and content knowledge will be larger than technological knowledge. If you were to visit my classroom a week ago, however, you would have seen that all tech integration that was happening was set firmly in the substitution or augmentation brackets of SAMR.
I found learning about both the SAMR and TPACK framework really interesting. I knew that there was an element missing from how I was integrating technology into my classes but I couldn’t label it, now I can. Moving students’ work into Modification and Redefinition has been the biggest hurdle for me this year. I feel pressured by a lack of contact time with students and using a dedicated reading program that they are comfortable with. As a homeroom teacher, I had more opportunities for authentic and creative tech integration which has been lacking this year.
This week, however, I had the opportunity to include some video production in one of my classes. I have a student who is struggling to make progress in maths. She is able to solve grade-level maths problems, however, when she is working at home she has a lot of anxiety and doubts herself. In order to help her, I worked with her to create a video detailing the process for a 2-digit division. She talked herself through each step of the process and then edited the video using iMovie. I am excited to hear how this process helped her on Monday and, if it was useful, I will continue to help support her in creating tutorial videos.
I feel as though I am starting to see more opportunities for going (at least) one step beyond substitution with tech integration that will support my students’ progress towards ILP (Individualized learning Plan) goals. Time will always be a challenge, however, I am now feeling more confident in finding times when I can use technology to further support students. I am looking forward to hearing my students’ reflection and now thinking about ways that, if she feels confident, she could share her video tutorials with others.