Relative Advantage of Technology in the Content Area

One of the things that made college so special for me was that I had the opportunity to travel to different places around the United States.  My band fraternity (Kappa Kappa Psi), and the concert band at Shippensburg University took me to places like Boston, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles.  I was able to break free of the bubble I had been living in and experience just a few of the diverse cultures that make up our great country, but each one made a profound impact on the way I view life and our world.  The classroom, thanks to technology, is allowing both teachers and students to break out of their four walls and allowing them to experience the world through the way of technology.  Such experiences allow students to formulate new opinions and thought processes as they relate to different areas of content.  A teacher’s SMART board is a dashboard to the world; imagine going on a virtual field trip using Google Earth to learn more about what the field in Gettysburg looks like without ever leaving the class?  You can see the rolling hills and the terrain that soldiers had to maneuver, being reminded that they were doing this while being shot at by their opposition.

Using technologies throughout the content areas gives teachers the ability to differentiate more thoroughly and reach every student, whether they are gifted or have disabilities.  This differentiation allows every student to enhance their digital literacy.  Digital literacy, according to Warschauer and Matuchniak (2010), is essential for participating in today’s global, knowledge-based economy.  Teachers who can integrate technology successfully throughout their content areas are challenging their students to think globally, giving them the resources to figure things out in different situations.  You might use an iPad differently if you are researching the Declaration of Independence, or you’re practicing your math facts, or you are producing a presentation on the water cycle.  These technologies are flexible and allow you to think differently about situations as opposed to filling out another worksheet or falling asleep to another lecture.

Another bonus to using technologies throughout the content areas is the efficiency of assessment.  Instead of grading paper after paper, or test after test, there are websites and applications that will allow teachers to gather assessment data much more efficiently, such as Socrative or PollEverywhere.  Making this information more easily available for teachers will allow them to further custom the delivery of their content so that every child understands the concepts that need to be learned.  Technology also provides the opportunities for authentic learning by way of making student work available to the public.  Not only can we take advantage of what technology resources give us, but we can take advantage of that they allow our students to produce, making the information that they learn within content areas much more real. 

 

 

Warschauer, M., & Matuchniak, T. (2010). New technology and digital worlds: Analyzing evidence of equity in access, use, and outcomes. Review of Research in Education, 34(1), 179-225. DOI: 10.3102/0091732X09349791

Vega, Vanessa. “Technology Integration Research Review: Additional Tools and Programs.” Edutopia. N.p., 5 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. <http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-research-tools-programs>.

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About mrdeissler

I teach technology education to elementary students and work with teachers on integrating new technologies into their lessons at two different elementary schools. This blog serves as a place for me to reflect and share to help make me a better educator, as well as document my learning in the M.E.T. program at Boise State University Follow me on Twitter @mrdeissler
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2 Responses to Relative Advantage of Technology in the Content Area

  1. You brought up many valid points in this blog post. For you, it was the fraternity that took you to new places and for me it was the Navy. Relating technology to such events as those that affected our lives, students today may not have to wait as long as we did. The beautiful thing about technology is the flexibility it provides educators. Not only are we exposing students to the world at a much earlier age, we are able to scaffold instruction to meet the needs of all learners. This provides opportunities for students of all abilities to experience life outside the classroom together as a whole group.
    Catherine

  2. Rebecca Muller says:

    I agree with many points in your blog. In particular, the idea of using technology to gather the data that we need to assess students. The tools being made for educator’s use is helping our time efficiency. Points were made that technology can break down our four walls of the classroom and extend them out into the real world. This is of great value to me and my students as well. When you become part of something bigger, I think you see the world differently and make connections that you might not have made before.

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