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Week 1: Why should we integrate technology into the classroom?

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Visualizing Technology Integration: A Model for Meeting ISTE Educational-Technology Standards. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards (formerly the NETS), call for the integration of technology in schools.

Visualizing Technology Integration: A Model for Meeting ISTE Educational-Technology Standards

The truth is that such technology integration is difficult but absolutely necessary. I prefer to use a concept map to explain complicated processes -- such as integrating technology -- when it is important to see the overall picture but also drill down into the details. The concept map for our curriculum at Ferryway School, in Malden, Massachusetts, shows the forces that have shaped our approach.

(Download the PDF; open it in Adobe Reader for clickable links.) The Balance of Screen Time. "Television rots your brain.

The Balance of Screen Time

" In a similar vein, video games turn your mind to mush, and staring at a screen for too long potentially makes you a zombie. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report suggesting that children under two should not have any screen time. Since the release of that report, numerous studies have emerged to address this issue of screen time, from the 2012 report Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education to Lisa Guernsey's Screen Time: How Electronic Media - From Baby Videos to Educational Software - Affects Your Young Child. Particularly when working with elementary teachers, I frequently hear concerns about screen time in the classroom, and they are not wrong. Students should learn to interact in a face-to-face setting, experience the physical world and go outside.

Welcome to Our Virtual Worlds. Turning On the Lights.

Info I highlighted from diigo: But we've chosen something else. Somehow, schools have decided that all the light that surrounds kids — that is, their electronic connections to the world — is somehow detrimental to their education. So systematically, as kids enter our school buildings, we make them shut off all their connections. No cell phones. No music players. No game machines. No open Internet. When kids come to school, they leave behind the intellectual light of their everyday lives and walk into the darkness of the old-fashioned classroom. What are they allowed to use? Basal readers. Cursive handwriting. Old textbooks. Outdated equipment. "Whenever I go to school," says one student I know, "I have to power down." He's not just talking about his devices — he's talking about his brain. Schools, despite our best intentions, are leading kids away from the light. The reality is that students are, for the most part, bored. Pick an average kid, with an average schedule, and shadow him or her for a day in school — go where the student goes, sit in on all his or her classes — and see if you can stand it. Recently, at a conference of the heads of California's top independent schools, I asked a bright 10-year-old from one of the very best schools how often she's bored in class. "Ninety-nine percent of the time" was her immediate answer — she didn't even have to reflect. Even with the best teachers we have, most middle school and high school kids say they're bored 50-70 percent of the time. – dkherning

Stopping the silence: hearing parents' voices in an urban first-grade family literacy program.

Info I highlighted from diigo: As technology is introduced in to the classroom it is vital that we keep families informed. We should be offering up training in the current use of technology so we can partner with parents to help their child be successful. We so more and more grandparents raising their grandchildren and they desperately want to be involved in the education of the child; however, with the generational gap they are not technology savvy. We built our program on our beliefs that parents are a powerful, underused source of knowledge--a great untapped resource in many schools. Families can provide teachers with a vast reservoir of talent, energy, and insight. Instead, parents often can be made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome within the school environment; parent insights may be dismissed as unimportant. However, it is just such insight that is needed for informed classroom instruction. Rather than viewing the school and home as separate and distinct, we must honor our common goal to help children become successful learners. – dkherning
Nistler, R. J., & Maiers, A. (2000). Stopping the silence: hearing parents' voices in an urban first-grade family literacy program. Reading Teacher, 53(8), 670-680. – dkherning

Blended Learning: Making it Work in Your Classroom. Our Brains Extended. In the 21st-Century University, Let's Ban (Paper) Books.

Prensky, M. (2011). In the 21st-Century University, Let's Ban (Paper) Books. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 58(13), A30. – dkherning

Mystery Rocks and Marvelous Machines.

Good info I highlighted from diigo: In fall 2001, a group of 5th grade educators in the Malden Public School District in Malden, Massachusetts, faced the following challenge: How could they create a curriculum experience that would help students learn about rocks, minerals, and simple machines? Data from the previous year's Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) science exam showed that 5th graders were not responding to traditional instructional practices and had misunderstandings about science, engineering, and technology concepts. Teachers used their newfound technology skills to construct a Web site, connect with one another through a Web-based communication board, and archive and share files. To support teachers in the development of project-based units (PBUs), Malden and its adjoining school districts, Everett and Medford, formed the Tri-City Technology Education Collaborative (TRITEC) to design a curriculum/technology integration model. TRITEC not only designed the model that led to the development of the Saugus Iron Works project-based unit (see but also created a technology infrastructure called PBU Builder to support teachers in developing and distributing other project-based units. PBU Builder provides point-and-click access to district curriculum standards as well as Web space to upload and manage a unit. All teachers were issued laptops, enabling them to personalize their computing environment and enjoy the benefits of mobile computing. – dkherning